Thursday, January 12, 2012

Biotechnology College Program Offers Career Variety Upon Graduation

Would it surprise you to know that all you need to apply for the Biotechnology College program at Centennial College is: an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, or mature student status (19 years or older); English Grade 12 C or U or equivalent, or skills assessment; Math Grade 11 M or U or Grade 12 C or U, or equivalent, or skills assessment; and an interest in starting your career in the position of quality control technician for reputable companies? Well, get ready to be surprised because those are the only application requirements for the Biotechnology Technician – Industrial Microbiology program, which takes two years to complete.

Once students are accepted, they enter a program that is so reputable it has obtained two important accreditations. First, the Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists nationally accredits this biotechnology college program. In addition, the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists recognizes the Biotechnology Technician - Industrial Microbiology program as meeting all the academic requirements for certification in the Technician Category. These national accreditations support program quality and provide mobility for graduates. In addition, the biotechnology technician offering is a repeat recipient of the Centennial College President’s Academic Program Recognition Award for outstanding student satisfaction.

The program itself is conducted out of Centennial College’s Morningside Campus, which is the most high-tech campus of the college’s four locations. This is a good thing because as a student named Mohammed describes, there is a lot of hands-on learning. “The program basically involves the study of microorganisms in detail as to the characteristics of the microorganisms, where they’re found, what they are, their names, their length and shape,” he says. “The labs, for sure, are very exciting as it involves hands-on [practice]. For example, there are labs that involve staining of samples or streaking of streak plates.”

Some highlights of the biotechnology college undertaking include: practical training in industrial microbiology as well as chemistry (analytical and organic) and biochemistry; isolating, enumerating and identify microorganisms from many types of samples (water, soil, air, your body, food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products); preparing specimens for staining; becoming proficient in aseptic handling of materials; accurately calibrating and using a range of instruments such as pH and BOD meters, Gas Chromatographs, spectrophotometers (regular/IR/UV), HPLC’s etc.; preparing microbiological media and reagents and culture pathogenic microbes; designing and performing microbiology experiments; and using microorganisms to assay pharmaceutical products.

Specific courses in this Biotechnology Technician offering include: Chemistry, Occupational Health & Safety, Microcomputer Applications for Technology, Mathematics, Lab Instrumentation, Statistics for Applied Science, Food Microbiology, Organic Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry and more.

Once students graduate, they become Biotechnology technicians (also known as bench technicians), and have the responsibility of assuring quality control in areas of manufacturing such as food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Companies that have hired students of the Biotechnology Technician program include: Kisko Products, Hermann Laue Spice Company, Apotex Inc., Agropur - Divisional Natrel, Mill Street Brewery, MAXXAM Analytics, Campbell Soup Company, bioMerieux Analytics, Griffith Laboratories and Cosmetica Laboratories Inc.

Graduates may also apply for certification through the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT) to use the following professional designation: CTech (Certified Technician).

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