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The Aegis
Harford County

Harford Community College receives grant to expand biotechnology program

Harford Community College recently received a National Science Foundation award for an expansion of its biotechnology program.

The $493,912 grant was given for the college’s Expanding Pathways from High School into the Biotechnology Workforce program. The goal of the program is to provide a diverse, school-to-workforce pipeline of local students entering the growing biotech industry.

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The program will target high schools with majority-minority enrollment and/or rural status, with the intent of enrolling students from groups traditionally underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields and college-level biotechnology programs.

“These programs are distinct from the other life sciences programs at HCC in their focus on the hands-on laboratory skills needed for immediate employment in the rapidly expanding biotechnology industry in Maryland,” said Jaclyn A. Madden, associate professor of biology and biotechnology. “The grant has provided HCC with modern equipment and industry connections.”

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The program creates pathways for students from Harford County Public Schools to pursue an associate of applied science degree in biotechnology in a newly created biotechnology degree program at HCC. Graduates of the program can go directly to a biotechnology career or transfer to a four-year institution for continued study.

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Enrollment for the degree and certificate programs is open now. Additional classes will be added in the fall. Harford Community College currently offers a biotechnology certificate program, which will be enhanced under the grant.

The college plans to collaborate with local industry partners for summer internships to help students gain professional, field-specific experience and career readiness skills.

As part of the program, the school will hold workshops for high school students and their families which will feature hands-on biotechnology activities, academic and career information.

There will also be a free camp Aug. 1-5 on the Harford campus for interested high school students. Attendees in the BIOTECH Pathways Summer Institute will have the opportunity to participate in hands-on activities in campus labs. Registration will open soon through the HCC Summer Camp catalog, Madden said.

Additionally, the program will hold a BIOTECH Pathways Teaching Academy in June 2023 for high school teachers.

This project is funded by the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education program which focuses on workforce education for advanced technology fields that drive the nation’s economy.

For more information, contact Madden at stem@harford.edu.


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