Last year, five Texas community college biotechnology programs, worked together to produce a manual documenting how they assess student knowledge and skills related to the Texas Biotechnology Skill Standards. The purpose of this activity was to share what was being done by these programs to assess students, and to produce a manual that can be used by existing programs and new biotechnology programs for the purpose of producing employees that meet the needs of the industry across the state.
All of these programs had already been recognized by the Texas Skills Standard Board (TSSB) for having adopted the Biotechnology skill standards. As a result, they had already developed curriculum and assessment tools around the standards. However this project gave them the opportunity to share what they had done with each other. Only by sharing could they understand how each program is making sure that students graduate at a designated performance level in all of the key activities associated with all of the critical work functions that make up the skill standards.
El Centro College of the Dallas County Community College District, which was in the process of applying for TSSB program recognition, also contributed input.
The project was funded by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board through a Perkins state leadership grant administered by Del Mar College.
One of the unexpected benefits of adopting skill standards has been that not only do faculty know what students can and cannot do, but so do the students. As a result they become more efficient learners, better at articulating what they know and do not know, and therefore better employees. It is hoped that in the future, universal, statewide articulation agreements among the two year programs and among two year and four year programs can be realized. Then, students can move easily between the two year biotechnology programs and between the two year biotechnology programs and their 4-year articulation partners across the state.
To access the TSSB documents, you will need to request a TSSB account at: