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Middlesex Community College
Today, MCC's Writing Technical
Information post-graduate, noncredit
certificate program is still popular
among those searching for a career
change. The program teaches students
the skills and tools to clearly and
accurately inform users about
technical products. It has been adapted
to include mark-up languages, such as
HTML and XML, so students can create
information for electronic distribution
and compete in today's tech-savvy
work environment.
In 1990, Middlesex started the first
Biotechnology Technician Program in
the region. "We were awarded a small
grant from Bay State Skills Corp. to
fund a program to train students in the
field of biotechnology," said Cowan.
"That was the birth of our now highly
successful Biotech Programs."
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Enrollment in MCC's Biotech
Programs have seen an 87 percent
increase since 2005. Students can earn
a Biotechnology Certificate after
completing only 29 credits of
coursework. They can then go out into
the field working in paid internships
in prestigious biotech firms across the
region, including Millipore, Genzyme,
Shire Human Genetics, Biogen Idec
and Pharmalucent.
However, most students continue their
education and earn an associate
degree. And 90 to 95 percent of
students go on to earn bachelor's
degrees in biotechnology, primarily
at Boston University's Metropolitan
College Biomedical Laboratory, and
in UMass Lowell's Clinical Sciences
"The key to our success in workforce
development is having very strong
faculty members who are passionate
about what they do and who are able
to match company needs with our
academics," said Cowan.
That is what happened when Mariluci
Bladon was hired as Professor of
Biology and Coordinator of MCC's
Biotechnology Program in 1990. Bladon
helped design the program from scratch,
and continues to be an integral part
of the program, which holds the Gold
Standard from the Massachusetts Life
Science Education Consortium.
"We were the pioneers the first to
start a biotechnology program in a
community college," said Bladon. "Now
other schools mold their programs like
Middlesex was also recently awarded
a $3 million capital grant from the
Massachusetts Life Sciences Center.