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Blinn biotechnology alumna Faith Kalich found a job immediately after graduation. After one summer, it helped pay for her bachelor's degree.

Blinn's Biotechnology Laboratory Sciences Program prepares graduates for immediate employment in the fast-growing biotechnology industry

Blinn's Biotechnology Laboratory Sciences Program prepares graduates for immediate employment in the fast-growing biotechnology industry

November 16, 2023

Faith Kalich never expected that the skills she gained with her associate degree would immediately help pay for her bachelor’s degree.

After earning her Associate of Applied Science in Biotechnology Laboratory Sciences from the Blinn College District, however, Kalich found immediate employment as a laboratory technician with the company where she interned, allowing her to pursue her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Texas A&M University-Texarkana at RELLIS.

“I paid for this entire semester with what I made last summer, which is really great,” she said.

Originally from Shiner, Texas, Kalich began her academic journey with an eye toward a nursing career. As an associate degree nursing student, however, she found that she preferred taking a more methodical approach to healthcare.

“I could poke myself with a needle, but I don’t think I could do it to somebody else,” Kalich said. “I realized I would really like to focus more on the analytical side of things and figuring out in a lab why somebody feels this way.”

That was when Kalich met with Biotechnology Laboratory Sciences Program Coordinator Roxanne Berry, who introduced her to the educational and career opportunities available through the program.

Based on the Bryan Campus and designed to meet the growing needs of the biotechnology industry, Blinn’s Biotechnology Laboratory Sciences Program teaches basic laboratory skills, U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations, and good manufacturing practices, preparing graduates for employment in a variety of regulated laboratory environments. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, biological technicians earned a median salary of $49,650 in 2022.

“It’s super science-based – lots of biology, chemistry, things like that which I really enjoy,” Kalich said. “I didn’t realize this coming in, but it’s super hands-on. Every day, we have a little bit of a lecture, but then we move into the lab and we’re working under fume hoods, we’re working with pipettes, and other types of things that you would use on a daily basis.”

As Kalich developed her hands-on skills, she earned her 29-credit-hour Advanced Technical Certificate, 41-credit-hour Certificate Level-2, and her 60-credit-hour Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Biotechnology Laboratory Sciences. As she progressed toward her AAS, the courses in her degree plan qualified her for the “stackable” certificate credentials, giving her immediate earning power in the workforce.

During the final semester of her AAS degree, Kalich interned at STgenetics, a Navasota company that uses science and technology to improve herd genetics. After she graduated, STgenetics hired her as a laboratory technician.

“My boss knew I enjoyed working, wanted to work hard, and knew what I was doing,” Kalich said. “I was extremely well equipped whenever I started working. It was very nice to find that I had learned things that I would use in the real world. That was very comforting and nice about the program.”

Last spring, Kalich began pursuing her bachelor’s degree. After transferring the credits she earned at Blinn, she will graduate this winter with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a chemistry minor from Texas A&M University-Texarkana at Texas A&M-RELLIS.

“I knew I wanted to get a bachelor’s and I always said it would be nice if I could stay here in Bryan-College Station,” she said. “Now it’s mostly just senior-level classes to get the number of hours I need to graduate.”

While she completes her bachelor’s degree, Kalich is working part-time as a laboratory assistant at Precision Toxicology. She credits Blinn with introducing her to a career she is passionate about.

“It’s very interesting if you’re interested in chemistry and working with your hands and learning how things grow and how things work,” Kalich said. “If you’re interested at all in that type of thing, I couldn’t recommend the biotech program more.”

The Biotechnology Laboratory Sciences Program is part of Blinn’s Division of Natural and Physical Sciences, which also includes degree programs in biology, chemistry, geology, physics, and veterinary technology. For more information, visit

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