STCC’s Biotechnology Program Joins International BEACON Alliance

SPRINGFIELD — Through its academic program in biotechnology, Springfield Technical Community College has joined the BEACON Alliance (Biomedical Engineering Alliance and Consortium), which is a collaborative of industry, academia, and medicine.


STCC is the only community college in the group, and joins Trinity College, UConn, UMass, Universitat Stuggart, Boston Scientific, Vivax Medical Corp., Pfizer, Laschal Surgical, GE Medical Systems, Baystate Health System, Hartford Hospital, UConn Health Center, and several other institutions.

Beacon was founded six years ago by Dr. Joseph Bronzino at Trinity College to combine Connecticut bioengineering programs, and has grown to encompass three components:

• BEACON, the parent company, which is a non-for-profit professional organization;
• BEACON Technology Network, a for-profit organization whose specific goal is to facilitate the commercialization of new medical technologies; and
• BEACON Foundation, a non-profit corporation able to receive major gifts from individuals, organizations, or foundations, with the express purpose of supporting additional research and development efforts of the various members of BEACON academic and medical institutions.

BEACON brings together educational institutions, corporations, and industry for the common goals of training new experts in the field and developing commercially viable innovations in biomedical science and engineering for health care applications.

STCC’s Biotechnology program, established in 1995, leads to an Associate in Science degree and provides a curriculum that includes organic chemistry, cell biology, genetics, calculus, and microbiology, among other courses. Department Chair Lisa Rapp said the program offers both a career track as well as a transfer preparation.

About half the department’s graduates have taken the transfer track and gone on to bachelor’s degree programs at institutions such as UMass, the University of New Haven, and the Rochester Institute of Technology. Many of the students who have elected to pursue the career track are now employed at MicroTest Laboratories in Agawam.