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Waubonsee Adds Laboratory Technology Program

At its meeting on March 20, the Waubonsee Community College Board of Trustees approved one new degree and two new certificates in the field of laboratory technology.

Set to debut in fall 2013, the laboratory technology program is designed to prepare students for employment in non-health-care related laboratory settings, such as agriculture, consumer protection, environmental protection, food processing, manufacturing or pharmaceuticals. Laboratory technicians use specialized instruments and techniques to assist in conducting experiments, researching and developing new products, performing quality tests, and producing a chemical or biological product. 

At 60 semester hours, the Associate in Applied Science Degree in Laboratory Technology is comprehensive, requiring general education courses in English, communications and math, along with courses in chemistry, biology and the new laboratory technology discipline, including Introduction to Laboratory Technology, Applied Microbiology, Introduction to Analytical Chemistry and Introduction to Instrumental Analysis. 

The 17-semester-hour Certificate of Achievement in Basic Laboratory Technology pairs the introductory lab course with courses in biology, chemistry, computers and math, while the 18-semester-hour Certificate of Achievement in Biology Laboratory Technology is comprised of two biology courses, two laboratory technology courses and an introductory chemistry course. 

Several local employers provided input throughout the program’s development process, including Monsanto Seed Technology Center, Profile Food Ingredients, Nalco/an Ecolab Company, FONA International, Institute of Tribology and Coatings, Fox Metro Water Reclamation District, NanoInk, Inc. and NanoProfessor, DVI Aviation, McCrone Associates, Benetech, and Hooke College of Applied Sciences. 

Working with this employer input and their own subject matter expertise, Chemistry Instructor Dr. Nancy Christensen, Associate Professor of Biology Tracey Dosch and Chemistry Lab Coordinator Katherine Wall built the curricula.   

The laboratory technology program was developed with a $2.8 million Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant from the Department of Labor.