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Biotechnology

The Degree

Associate in Science (A.S.)

The Outlook

From altering the genetic information of plants and animals to producing cells to create pharmaceutical products, the science of biotechnology is using cutting-edge technology and the basic ingredients of life to benefit society. Through the biotechnology degree program at FLCC, you will participate in what many consider to be the most important applied science of the 21st century.

Career opportunities in biotechnology are diverse and intriguing. Areas that are explored include:

  • Cloning
  • Forensics
  • Bio-Engineered Food

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment of biological technicians is expected to grow 10 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

The Program

The A.S. biotechnology degree program is designed to prepare you for transfer into a four-year institution as a biotechnology or biology major. Additionally, the program intends to develop your marketing skills as you prepare for entrance into the job market.

Skills and Methods: Courses in the program focus on skill development in the following areas:

Genetic Research Techniques

  • Cloning
  • Protein Separation Methods
  • Hydrophobic Interaction Chromatography
  • Size Exclusion Chromatography
  • Ion-Exchange Chromatography
  • Bioinformatics

Cell Tissue and Culture

  • Culture Equipment and Safety
  • Sterile and Aseptic Technique
  • Media Preparation and the Culture Environment
  • Quantitative Methods (cell count/viability)
  • Cryopreservation
  • Primary Cell Culture Techniques
  • Subculturing Techniques
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Applied Techniques (transfection, histochem)

Electrophoresis

  • Principles of PAGE and Agarose Electrophoresis
  • Electrophoresis Equipment and Operation
  • Formal Laboratory Report Writing
  • Micropipetting Technique
  • Gel Preparation (pour, load, and process)
  • Calculation of Molecular Weights from gels
  • Gel Photography and Image Analysis
  • Restriction Enzyme Digests
  • Restriction Mapping

Genetics Laboratory

  • Mendelian Genetics and Crosses
  • Cloning Techniques (restriction digestion, ligation, transformation)
  • PCR Applications
  • PCR Primer Design
  • DNA Fingerprinting
  • DNA Isolation
  • Quantitative DNA Applications
  • Bioinformatics

Bacteriological Methods

  • Laboratory Safety
  • Sterile Technique
  • Selective and Differential Media
  • Plaque Assay
  • Microscopy
  • Media Preparation
  • Culture Techniques
  • Reagent and Stain Preparation
  • Bacterial Conjugation and Transformation

Facilities: Facilities for the program include a fully equipped instrument lab, extensive spectrophotometric resources, cell culture and cryogenic equipment, and enough electrophoresis equipment to ensure that you will have the opportunity to work with your own gel box.

Honors Courses: If you have demonstrated outstanding academic ability, you will have the opportunity to take honors courses at FLCC that provide enhanced educational experiences. If you are a qualified student in this degree program or are a qualified student from another program, enrollment in honors courses is open to you. Successful completion of honors courses or an Honors Certificate may increase your transfer options to four-year institutions.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this degree program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in workplace "soft skills," including an industry acceptable level of technical writing and oral communication.
  • Demonstrate an ability to work on collaborative teams.
  • Demonstrate an ability to perform basic laboratory procedures, including the ability to select and utilize appropriate resources, supplies, and instrumentation to solve problems within a laboratory environment.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in critical advanced laboratory skills required for employment in the biotechnology industry.
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of the biotechnology industry.

The Experience

Research: Under the guidance of faculty members, you will have the opportunity to participate in undergraduate research projects. Furthermore, you will collect samples in the field and process DNA information in the lab at FLCC.

Resources: This program will allow you the opportunity to benefit from FLCC's connection to Bio-Link, which is affiliated with Biotechnology Industry Organization. Bio-Link is an advanced technological education center, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), which enhances and expands biotechnology education programs. Bio-Link serves as an educational resource and acts as a network for employment opportunities.

The National Science Foundation recently established the Northeast Biomanufacturing Center and Collaborative. FLCC will be the lead institution for the New York hub of this regional center, which is designed to support biomanufacturing in the Northeast United States. The biotechnology program will provide unique opportunities for you. For more information, click on the following links:

The Graduates

With the hands-on experience and lab skills obtained through this program, you will be well-prepared to transfer with junior standing status to four-year colleges and universities that offer biotechnology-related baccalaureate degrees. Some institutions offering a bachelor's degree in this field include:

  • University of Rochester (Biology and Molecular Genetics)
  • Cornell University (Biology)
  • Buffalo State (Biology)
  • SUNY Brockport (Biological Sciences)
  • SUNY Fredonia (Recombinant Gene Technology)

In addition, FLCC holds an articulation agreement with Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) that guarantees you entrance as a full junior into their Bachelor of Science biotechnology program. While at RIT, you will be able to explore co-op opportunities during your senior year.

Careers and Salary: Upon completion of a four-year degree, graduates are qualified to fill jobs as:

  • Lab Assistants, Research Assistants, or Associates
  • Quality Control Analysts, Technologists, Clinical Data Specialists, Chemists, Microbiologists, Animal Technicians, or Manufacturing Associates.

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median annual salary for biological technicians was $39,750 in May 2012.

With a two-year degree in biotechnology, graduates can expect positions as:

  • Quality Control, Instrumentation, or Laboratory Technicians
  • Research Assistants

The Scholarships

As a biotechnology major, if you meet specific award criteria, you may apply for a number of scholarships including the:

  • Murray G. Gardner Memorial
  • Bill Parham Memorial
  • G.W. Lisk, Inc. Excellence

For more information, visit the FLCC scholarships page located online or you can contact the financial aid office.