Biotechnology education got underway at Austin Community College in 1999 when the college became a regional center for Bio-Link. Since that time, Austin has earned a reputation as a leader in biotechnology education.
The Biotechnology Program at Austin Community College works with the local bioscience industry to educate students in basic laboratory skills, math skills, genetic engineering, protein purification, cell culture, quality assurance and quality control principles, regulations, bioinformatics, computer skills, ethics, documentation, and teamwork. Students are educated to work in a variety of positions that span different kinds of companies including Pharmaceutical, Molecular Diagnostics, Manufacturing, Research and Cancer Research, Fisheries and Wildlife and Cell Culture. The State of Texas has adopted the Washington Skill Standards for Biotechnology. The Austin Community College Biotechnology Program was the 1st program in the state to formally adopt these standards and receive program recognition from the Texas Skill Standards Board.
ACC offers four kinds of degrees and certificates:
- Level One Biotechnology Certificate: two semesters, courses include introduction to biotechnology, quality assurance, and an internship. This certificate prepares students to function as entry-level biotechnicians in the laboratory or in biotechnology manufacturing.
- Advanced Technical Certificate in Biotechnology: this is a post-baccalaureate certificate. A student must hold a baccalaureate or associates degree in order to be admitted to the program.
- Associate of Applied Science in Biotechnology: five semesters, courses are the same as the level two certificate, but include an extra semester of chemistry, bioinformatics, instrumentation, and economics.
Credits from the two core courses in the program, Biotech I (1414) and Biotech II (1415) transfer to all public Universities in Texas.