Recognizing the lack of licensure or industry-recognized standards for entry-level laboratory workers, the California Life Sciences and Biotech Initiative has worked with industry and faculty statewide to create an Employability Milestone for hands-on laboratory skills.
Graduates from California Community Colleges Life Sciences/Biotech Programs have completed a minimum of 200 hands-on laboratory training hours and other educational experience to build the core competencies listed below:
Core Technical Competencies for Laboratory Personnel
Students who complete the Employability Milestone are expected to have demonstrated ability to:
» Communicate using scientific vocabulary common to the biotechnology industry.
» Explain underlying scientific concepts for common laboratory techniques
» Apply scientific knowledge to explain common biotechnological laboratory techniques.
» Perform common laboratory mathematical calculations.
» Follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) and/or understand and follow written procedures.
» Explain the principles of Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) including documentation equipment validation procedures
» Maintain appropriate workplace standard documentation such as laboratory notebooks or batch records.
» Demonstrate the ability to perform laboratory protocols with workplace standard safety, efficacy while keeping work environments clean and orderly.
» Demonstrate operational understanding of safety regulations such as OSHA and MSDS
» Collect and report data using appropriate software and formats.
» Apply appropriate CAPA (Corrective and Preventative Actions) and associated analyses in troubleshooting experiments
Core Cultural Competencies for Laboratory Personnel
Students who complete the Employability Milestone are expected to have participated in activities that demonstrate the importance of:
» Participation in project teams
» Time management, punctuality and adherence to deadlines
» Effective oral and written communication of laboratory activities and results
» Business communication such as e-mails, resumes and cover letters
» Integrity in the workplace
Hands-On Skills Training
Students who complete the Employability Milestone are expected to have participated in hands-on training that includes at least 4 semester units (~200 hours) of:
» General Laboratory Techniques: microscopy, spectrophotometry, chromatography, gel filtration, electrophoresis etc., aseptic technique (prokaryotic or eukaryotic cells), GLP/GMP, and good documentation practices. [min. 10 hours each]
» Solution, buffer and media preparation: preparation of percent and molar solutions, accurate measurement of volume with pipettors, graduated cylinders etc., dilutions (serial and non-serial), measurement of pH, sterilization of solutions (filtration, autoclave, etc.). [min. 15 hours each]
» Introduction to Protein Chemistry: Purifications, characterization, and quantification of proteins by techniques such as spectrophotometers, electrophoresis, column chromatography, ELISA and Western Blot. [min. 5 hours each]
» Introduction to Nucleic Acid Chemistry: DNA Isolation and characterization by agarose gel electrophoresis, restriction digestion and PCR. [min. 5 hours each]