Article - Office of College Advancement

Ohlone to expand biotech program

Courses give college credit to high school students, put them on early track to defining career

By Linh Tat, Staff writer.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006—Reprinted from Inside Bay Area: The Argus.

Fremont—Ohlone College has received a $251,000 grant to expand its biotechnology program for high school students by offering classes at several additional East Bay sites next year.

The college's Learning Alliance for Bioscience program gives students an opportunity to take biotechnology and biochemistry courses at their high schools while receiving college credits.

LAB classes were launched in August, and about 95 students have enrolled in the program, which serves underrepresented groups of students. This year's classes are offered at Kennedy High School in Fremont, James Logan High School in Union City and Newark Memorial High.

But with the additional quarter-million-dollar grant from the California Community College Chancellor's Office of Career Technical Education and Economic and Workforce Development, Ohlone plans to offer the program next school year through the Mission Valley Regional Occupational Program, Newark Junior High School, California School for the Deaf in Fremont and Chabot College in Hayward.

Junior high students won't be taking college courses, but they may attend summer camps or field trips to get them thinking about a career in biotechnology, said Josie Sette, director of Bay-LAB, the name of the extended program.

Joe Zermeno, a biology professor at Ohlone and project coordinator of the original LAB program, said students also have opportunities for job shadowing and meeting with professionals in the field.

"The program is really geared at training students to work at entry-level positions in the biotech industry," Zermeno said. "The idea is not just to teach them the material but to train them to enter the work force."

Staff writer Linh Tat covers education for The Argus. She can be reached at (510) 353-7010 or

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