Biotechnology involves applying living organisms and their components to the development of new products and industrial processes. Gaston College's Biotechnology program is designed to meet the increasing demand for skilled laboratory technicians in a wide range of biological and chemical engineering ﬁelds.
Gaston College offers the Biotechnology program through a collaborative agreement with Central Piedmont Community College and South Piedmont Community College. Students may take courses at any of these colleges, but must take a minimum of 22 hours at Gaston College. The degree is conferred by Gaston College. Students can earn an Associate in Applied Science degree, diploma, or a certificate in Biotechnology.
Students receiving an Associate in Applied Science Degree (AAS) in Biotechnology can transfer credits from the degree to a four-year degree program at several North Carolina universities. The program includes lab courses in general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, statistics, computer skills, lab techniques, genetics, cell culture, immunological techniques, bioprocessing, microbiology, bioethics, and lab safety. All courses emphasize quality lab and manufacturing practices. Employment North Carolina has over 400 biotechnology companies that employ more than 48,000 employees. Demand for skilled workers in the biotechnology ﬁeld continues to grow. Graduates of the program may ﬁnd employment in both the industry and government sectors, including jobs as research assistants, laboratory technicians, and quality control technicians in bioprocessing or biomanufacturing. Annual salaries for entry-level technicians start at $25,000 to $30,000 and can advance to $50,000 in as little as ﬁve years.
Program Learning Outcomes
- Demonstrate comprehension of life at the molecular and cellular levels.
- Apply the fundamental concepts of genetics, immunology, and chemistry to biotechnology procedures and practices.
- Demonstrate proficiency in the practice and theory of modern biotechnology.
- Illustrate the proper use of a variety of laboratory techniques and procedures with accuracy, precision, and safety.
- Demonstrate the ability to communicate results both orally and through written reports.
- Apply statistical principles to generate inferences about data or analyze the credibility of scientific results.
- Demonstrate professional work traits and personal behaviors necessary for career success:
- Relationship with others
- Ability to Learn
- Communication Skills
- Quality of work
- Leadership ability
- Potential for greater responsibility