RCC’s Biotechnology Program Earns High Marks

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Students enrolled in Roxbury Community College’s Biotechnology Program can gain valuable hands-on experience working as interns at some of the area’s most prestigious colleges or companies.

Through the Biotechnology Internship Program, RCC students have had the opportunity to work as interns at Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston University, Boston College, and the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Students have also interned at Celldex Therapertics and the Federal Drug Administration (FDA).

Although relatively new, the program has gained considerable respect in the biotechnology field in general; attracting industry awards, major grants, and is the source of pride for RCC faculty members in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Division.

The chief goal of the Biotechnology Program is to prepare students in basic research techniques that would help them enter into academic research, hospital research, industry, or pursue a bachelor’s degree. In addition to in-class instruction, students also spend many hours in RCC’S state-of-the-art biotechnology lab, an important component to the overall education of students in the Biotechnology Program.

Internship Component is Crucial to Student Success

Classroom instruction and hands-on work in the laboratory are augmented by the Internship Program, a requirement for Biotechnology students. Typically, a student is in the Internship Program for 15 weeks. Working with a site supervisor, the intern gains important experience and develops crucial skills, such as testing different agents in test tubes and analyzing data.

RCC’s Biotechnology Internship Program is a source of pride for Professor Kristin Laird and her STEM faculty colleagues. She said, “I think it fits very well with RCC’s mission. The students come here with one of two goals: to get a job or to start their education and move on to a four-year-institution.”

RCC is one of only a few community colleges that offer internships in their Biotechnology Program. That distinction helped the college earn two Gold Star endorsements from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Education Consortium, a major achievement.

RCC lays claim to a singular distinction. It is one of only a few community colleges to receive two Gold Star endorsements from the Massachusetts Life Science Education Consortium (MLSEC). Lance Hartford, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation, which created the MLSEC, says,” I am impressed with RCC’s increasingly strong biotechnology and science training programs. RCC faculty members have been a vital partner in developing curriculum, best practices and internship strategies – all of which lead students to better job opportunities in the Massachusetts Life Science sector.”
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