The InnovATEBIO high school mentor network will begin during 2020. A major goal of the network is to provide support, recruit, train, and empower high school educators who are committed to biotechnology workforce development.
As part of this work, InnovATEBIO mentors will partner with high school teachers to plan and implement high school biotech programs in collaboration with state Career and Technical Education personnel, local industry, non-profit organizations, and community colleges. An emphasis will be placed on serving students in under-privileged communities.
In a previous grant, the AC2 Bio-Link Regional Center helped over 50 high schools establish and grow their biotech course work. The most successful high schools share many of the following characteristics:
- Student cohorts in career-themed course sequences
- Rigorous, college-preparatory academics
- Opportunities to earn college credits
- Opportunities to earn industry-recognized credentials or certificates (i.e. BACE)
- Work-based learning opportunities (e.g. internships)
- Core academic skills are embedded along with opportunities to use these skills in a workplace context
- Employability skills are part of the curriculum (e.g. time management, critical thinking, adaptability)
- Technical, job-specific skills are included that relate to specific career pathways