Associate in Science (A.S.)
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:
- Recombinant DNA technology
- Drug Development and Design
- Cell and tissue culture
- Biofuels and Genetically Modified Foods
- Protein expression and purification
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 A.S. Biotechnology degree program is designed to prepare you for transfer into a four-year institution as a biotechnology or biology major. Additionally, our hands-on approach to supporting the development of a suite of laboratory skills will prepare you for entrance into the job market.
Skills and Methods: Courses in the program focus on skill development in the following areas:
- Culture Equipment and Safety
- Sterile and Aseptic Technique
- Media Preparation and the Culture Environment
- Quantitative Methods (cell count/viability)
- Primary Cell Culture Techniques
- Subculturing Techniques
- Cell Differentiation
- Applied Techniques (transfection, histochem)
- 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 documentation and Image Analysis
- Restriction Enzyme Digests
- Restriction Mapping
- Mendelian Genetics and Crosses
- Cloning Techniques (restriction digestion, ligation, transformation)
- PCR Applications
- PCR Primer Design
- DNA Fingerprinting
- DNA Isolation
- Quantitative DNA Applications
- Good Manufacturing Practices
- Good Laboratory Practices and Laboratory Notebook
- Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
- Sterile and Aseptic Technique
- Drug design and development: Bench to Shelf
- Buffer and media preparation
- Protein Separation Methods
- Hydrophobic Interaction Chromatography
- Size Exclusion Chromatography
- Ion-Exchange Chromatography
- Quality Control / Quality Assurance
- Regulatory affairs
- Batch records and documentation
- Hazard Communication
- Environmental monitoring
- Confined space evaluation and entry
- Sterile gowning
- Root Cause Analysis and CAPA
Facilities: Facilities for the program include a fully equipped biotechnology lab, extensive spectrophotometric resources, cell culture and cryogenic equipment, electrophoresis equipment, high and low pressure liquid chromatography, and a 3L and 5L bioreactor for scale up of cell culture for protein expression.
FLCC's online learning offers you a flexible and convenient way to reach your educational goals. With this option, you can pursue your A.S. in Biotechnology at least 50 percent online. Learn more about FLCC online learning.
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.
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 samples 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 is 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, visit the following links:
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 $41,650 in May 2015.
With a two-year degree in biotechnology, graduates can expect positions as:
- Quality Control technicians
- Instrumentation specialists
- Bioscience Laboratory Technicians
- Research Assistants
As a biotechnology major, if you meet specific award criteria, you may apply for the following scholarships:
- Murray F. Gardner Memorial
- Bill Parham Memorial
- G.W. Lisk, Inc. Excellence
- Ed Morrell Biology/Biotechnology
For more information on these scholarships, contact the FLCC Foundation.