Bio-Link’s Bridge to Biotech Learning Community
City College of San Francisco’s Bridge to Biotech, also known as the Bridge to Biosciences program, is a vocational program serving underprepared, underrepresented, and economically disadvantaged students who wish to pursue a career in life sciences research or manufacturing in biotechnology companies, or in academic and government research labs.
Leveraging the success of CCSF’s Bridge to Biosciences program to increase diversity, retention and success in Biotech programs, Bio-Link has been developing the Bridge Learning Community to support the scaling of the Bridge to Biosciences program at colleges around the country.
Goals of CCSF's Bridge to Biosciences program:
1. Increasing student diversity, retention and success in Biotech programs
2. Accelerating student learning using our contextualized and integrated curriculum, and
3. Facilitating career transition through an internship program.
To find out what to expect when joining Bio-Link’s Bridge Learning Community, a community of practice that supports the design and development of a Bridge program at your college, follow this link.
Contact: Laurence Clement, Bio-Link B2B Project Leader - firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Diversity and Access in the Bridge Program:
2. Retention and Completion in the Bridge Program:
3. Successful Bridge students…
*Gateway refers to the pre-required science courses (Introductory Chemistry and Biolgy) for Biotech students.
B2B is an accelerated alternative to the flawed traditional basic skills sequence
Under-prepared students interested in biotech are often sent away and referred to basic skills courses that will teach them English and math skills required to succeed in the “gateway” courses – the science courses that are pre-requisites to all Biotech program certificates.
However, one of the unfortunate consequences of basic skills education at some community colleges is that they can unnecessarily delay the accrual of college credit by students. Acceleration studies have shown that if 100 students start two levels below transferable math or English, on average only 13 will persist and succeed through that transfer level math or English class (Hern, K. December 2011. Accelerated English at Chabot College: A Synthesis of Key Findings. Hayward CA. California Acceleration Project). Many students depart college before completing degrees or certificates, or even before completing their developmental sequences, which often have little in common with the subject they intend to study. This flawed traditional model is science only after basic skills.
The B2B program has a track record of high completion rates. On average between Spring 2006 and 2008, 82% of students who enrolled in the B2B completed the program, and 83% continued on to enroll in the College’s classes and programs, including Biotechnology certificate and degree programs and an AS degree in Biotechnology.
The Bridge to Biotech and the Bridge to Biotech’s Internship program are the first steps to the Biotechnology Laboratory Assistant Certificate, which feeds into several Biotechnology Certificate Programs and an AS Degree in Biotechnology at City College of San Francisco.
The B2B internship component or Bridge to Biotech’s Internship program is offered exclusively to B2B students and graduates. Like the B2B, it targets underprepared and economically disadvantaged adults who wish to work in the Biotechnology field while they pursue their education at City College of San Francisco.
The internship program seeks to:
• Match participants with internship positions in Bay Area academic, government and biotechnology research laboratories;
• Monitor intern performance and professionalism throughout the internship and support mentors with the internship training as needed;
• Provide personal and professional support to students to increase success rates;
• Help students grasp scientific and technical concepts during the internship, through in-class discussions and presentations;
• Provide students with networking opportunities, job search tools and assistance after the internship.
The program includes 2 courses during the Bridge semester, which are integrated with the Bridge curriculum, but are optional for Bridge students, and provide the basic laboratory skills used in bench-type internships, as well as the soft skills required to work efficiently in a laboratory environment and apply for positions in the field. The second semester includes a 180-hour lab assistant or lab technician-level internships in Bay Area laboratories.
Between 2007 and 2009, approximately 50 students graduated from the Bridge to Biotech’s Internship Program alone, 40% of which were hired in research laboratories within a year after their internship. Some of the first interns who were hired as Lab Assistants after their internships - students who had no college degree or science background –have recently been promoted to Team Leader or to Staff Research Associate positions.
The majority of students who did not get hired in the field after completion of the program were not actively looking for work but decided to continue their education in the Biotechnology certificates as full-time students.
To find out more about the Bridge to Biotech's Internship Program, visit the CCSF Bridge's Internship program page.
If you are a student looking to find out more about the Bridge to Biotech and other City College of San Francisco programs, visit our program page on this website.
The B2B Learning Community is a Bio-Link project that strives to support community college Biotech and Bioscience programs that wish to increase retention, success, diversity and degree completion.
It takes a village...
Being a part of Bio-Link's B2B Learning Community will provide you with the support you need to design, develop and implement your Bridge program, courses or modules.
The Bi-Annual Synergy Conferences have allowed our team to envision ways of taking City College of San Francisco’s experience of running a Bridge program, with its unique set of conditions, and extracting the universal elements of the program to allow easier adaptation and customization to other colleges sharing similar goals of increasing retention, completion and persistence of underprepared students into biotechnology. This has resulted in the development of the Bridge Toolkit,a vailable to all our community members.
Our Bridge Learning Community, as of August 2012, includes a dozen Bio-Link colleges and universities located around the country in Utah, California, Missouri, Kentucky, Kansas, New York, Georgia, Texas and Porto Rico.
The community meets online every 6 weeks and in person once a year at Bio-Link's Summer Fellows Forum, and discusses topics relating to designing and implementing Bridge-like programs at their college, and shares resources.
Access our B2B Library and B2B Laboratory by clicking the button below (make sure you are logged in first)
Not working? Please log in, then return to this page to access the section for Bridge Adopters.
If you have signed up to be a Bridge Adopter and you cannot access the B2B Adopters page, please try logging in again and refreshing the page.
The following Needs Assessment Survey has been designed to assess your college's need for a Bridge program. To get in touch with our team and discuss the possibility of developing a Bridge program at your college, fill out the form below. .
Step 1: Identify Your Program Needs
Before joining our Learning Community, we ask you to complete a Needs Assessment Survey, to determine if this community is right for you. One of our Bio-Link team members will then follow-up with you to schedule a phone conversation. We now accept Learning Community members all year-round.
Step 2: Access to the B2B Curriculum and Program Toolkit
Once selected, the adopters have access to the course materials and lesson plans developed at the different colleges in our Learning Community. Right now, most of the materials cover the three core Bridge classes: math, science and language, but as colleges feel more comfortable with their curriculum, we plan to incorporate their materials to our website.
Since simple possession of the B2B curriculum has not always yielded successful adoptation or program development, adopters also have access to the "BridgeToolkit". This toolkit was created to emphasize important program practices not outlined in the curriculum. The Toolkit describes and illustrates the essential elements of the program, such as contextualized learning, faculty teams, learning communities, and student cohorts.
Step 3: Meet Bio-Link's B2B Community and Find Out about Promising Practices
Each year, during the second week of June, the Bridge team (faculty and program staff) from each adopting college is invited to participate in an intensive seminar at Bio-Link’s Summer Fellows Forum in Berkeley, CA.
Past seminars have included:
Step 4: Build Your Network Capacity
Bridge adopters begin working with each other, using online tools, webinars and conference calls to exchange best practices and challenges among members of the Bridge adopters network.
Throughout this process, the Bio-Link team collects information on best practices and challenges faced so we can integrate the lessons learned back into Bio-Link’s scale-up process.
Currently, our goal is to strengthen Bio-Link’s Bridge Learning Community, and to continue to create a community of practice where experienced Bridge adopters provide advice to new adopters, discuss challenges and best practices, and document their experience using online collaborative tools.
If you are interested in starting a Bridge to Biotech program, please see our Needs Assessment Survey.
If you are a student and want to learn about the Bridge to Biotechnology, visit the student website.
Please take a couple of minutes to provide feedback on the SFF B2B Pre-Conference.