Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Biotech Students to Get SCC Credit

Biotech Students to Get SCC Credit
By Julie Kay/Staff Writer

Students studying biotechnology at four high schools in Solano County have caught the wave of the future - in more ways than one.

Just this month local educators completed an agreement that allows students in biotechnology classes at Vacaville High, Fairfield's Rodriguez High, Benicia High and Vallejo's Hogan High to apply the class credit at Solano Community College.

High school students who get a B grade or better in their biotech class and pass an entrance exam will receive credit for SCC's "BIOTCH 160." Since this class has a prerequisite, students will save up to two full semesters by completing their high school biotech classes.

The high school biotechnology classes are offered through the county's Regional Occupational Program, which provides classes ranging from automotive technology to virtual enterprise. Several of those courses allow students to receive credit at SCC for their high school work.

Having high school biotechnology courses coordinate with SCC courses just made sense, said Susan Labrecque, the manager of the county's ROP program.

"The college has a widely recognized biotechnology program," she said. "Because of them, we were able to enrich what we offer."

Educators from the high schools, SCC, the Solano County Office of Education and the University California at Davis met regularly during the course of two years to ensure the high school courses covered all the same material as BIOTCH 160, said Labrecque.

Solano Community College has created "Certificate in Applied Biotechnology" designed specifically to build on biotechnology classes offered at the high schools.

The popularity of high school biotechnology classes has exploded in recent years, said Labrecque. More than 50 students are enrolled in Vacaville High School's two biotechnology classes, she said.

"It pulls kids from all academic strands," she said. "It's a perfect class for kids unsure of what they want to do but who love sciences. Especially here - we have Genentech and Alza, and UC Davis is just down the road."

High school students will be able to use their current ROP biotechnology classes for college credit at SCC beginning this fall.

Julie Kay can be reached at

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