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Pathway Focus of the Month: Business


Potential Career: Mobile Lab Tech
(Primary information sources: www.masscis.intocareers.org and A Health Career)

Laboratory technicians are generally in high demand but the reality today is that there is a strong need for the flexibility of a mobile laboratory. However, it's still a niche area that many don't even know about – let alone anyone considering it for a career choice. Technological advances have created smaller, less expensive and more efficient diagnostic equipment that is easier to transport than older, more traditional equipment. Mobile diagnostic services and digital technology provide greater speed in emergency diagnostics, a more flexible work environment, and various industry options.

A mobile lab technician by trade is generally the same as any laboratory technician. They are usually trained in the sciences, more often than not with a degree in chemistry or a suitable life sciences background. Some have postgraduate training although this usually isn't necessary for success in the field.

The main difference is that there is a greater variability in the working environment. While you may always be working within the mobile vehicle, you will be traveling on-site to conduct your work. Your advantage is that you could offer important data much more rapidly as there is no delay from shipping. You can also choose to work in different industries, such as: health care, veterinary science, environmental sciences, marine sciences—just to name a few!

Job Outlook: While mobile labs are still largely uncommon, the need for them is driving growth and the sector for mobile lab technicians will likely grow significantly in the next decade; the Bureau of Labor Statistics cites that clinicians and lab techs are all fields that are growing faster than average, making it easier to find a good paying job. This is why now might be the best time to consider a career as a mobile lab technician. Other opportunities are in the private sector, where more and more companies are catching onto the benefits of mobile lab technologies. Wages are usually in-line with any scientific lab technician, but this all depends on the sector, as you could be working on environmental analysis or biomedical science. There is also an opportunity to grow your own business in this field.

For More Information: Even though this website originates from the UK, A Health Career offers career information on a wide array of health care professions, ranging from more traditional health care careers to those in alternative, business, and fitness sectors. The 2010-2011 Occupational Outlook Handbook provides information on the various types of lab techs, including clinical lab technician, radiology technician, and vet technician. You can get more local employment outlook and training info for these careers from the MassCIS website.

About BCC’s Programming: BCC is one option if you want to explore a degree in Clinical Lab Science (CLS) or a certificate in Pre-Radiology Technician. The CLS degree program allows graduates to pursue medical education, sales, and computer careers. The Pre-Radiology certificate program prepares students to apply for an associate’s degree program in radiology technology.

Hints for Success: As with any laboratory technician, you need a critical eye for detail. In addition, you should have excellent problem-solving skills and be able to quickly troubleshoot any issues. You would maintain the mobile laboratory and must work well with other people, whether that's a client or another technician. Sometimes, you may have to travel to remote locations to conduct your work so you should be comfortable in this aspect.

Computer skills are a must, particularly as you will be transmitting data quickly once you have completed your analysis. If you can troubleshoot software and hardware issues, you will be ahead of the game. For this reason, many people might want to consider advanced computer certificates or diplomas when it comes to working as a mobile lab technician.




President Obama Unveils Blueprint for Preparing Students for College and Careers. In his weekly address, President Obama called for a redesigned Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), placing the emphasis on ensuring that all students graduate high school college- and career-ready. The blueprint rewards progress and success while emphasizing the importance of turning around the lowest-performing schools. It asks all states to adopt standards in English language arts and mathematics that build towards college and career readiness by the time students graduate from high school. The blueprint frames an accountability system that measures student growth toward meeting the goal of graduating all students college-and career-ready. This marks a dramatic shift away from the current law's emphasis on adequate yearly progress (AYP) sanctions. This new approach offers states increased flexibility to pursue programs and strategies with real results. The proposal would fund the overhauled law at $28 billion in fiscal 2011, which is an increase of $3 billion. The full blueprint is available for download online.

Massachusetts Update on the State's College and Career Web Portal. The portal, "Your Plan for College - Get Ready for Life after High School," is now being piloted in twenty-two high schools [EN: none in Bristol County] with an anticipated roll-out next school year. It will be available at no cost for every high school in the Commonwealth and will have all of the online tools students will need to learn about careers, and plan for and apply to college. The online application package includes electronic transcripts, letters of recommendation, or other supporting documentation required by a college or university. For more information about registering for and/or migrating over to "Your Plan for College" please contact yourplanforcollege.org. For questions regarding the portal, please contact Heidi Guarino.

Massachusetts Announced as One of 16 Finalists of Race to the Top Competition Finalists to Present in Mid-March; Winners Announced in Early April. On March 4, 2010, the US Department of Education announced that 15 states and the District of Columbia will advance as finalists for phase 1 of the Race to the Top competition. Race to the Top is the Department's $4.35 billion effort to dramatically re-shape America's educational system to better engage and prepare our students for success in a competitive 21st century economy and workplace. View the full announcement.

Achieve Report Shows States Have Led Paradigm Shift in Education Reform; College and Career Readiness Now the 'Norm.' Achieve's fifth annual "Closing the Expectations Gap" report shows that in the five years since the National Governors Association (NGA) and Achieve co-sponsored the National Education Summit on high schools, the goal of aligning high school graduation requirements with the demands of college and the workplace has gone from a radical concept to the new norm throughout the country. The 50-state survey reveals the following changes over the last five years:

  • Standards: The nation has gone from 3 states in 2005 to 31 states that now have developed and adopted high school academic standards in English and mathematics that are aligned with college- and career-ready expectations.
  • Graduation Requirements: Today, 20 states and the District of Columbia require all students to complete such a curriculum to earn a high school diploma, as opposed to 3 in 2005.
  • P-20 Data Systems: In 2005, only three states had operational P-20 longitudinal data systems that link states' student-level K-12 data with similar data from their postsecondary systems. Today, 16 states are matching such data annually.
  • Assessments: Five years ago, three states administered college- and career-ready high school assessments. Today, 14 states have such exams.
  • Accountability: Progress in this area has been slowest. 22 states now incorporate at least one of four accountability indicators that Achieve has identified as critical to promoting college and career readiness, with only one state making full use of all of the indicators in its accountability system. In 2005, none of the states had addressed this benchmark.

To see a full copy of the report, go to www.achieve.org/ClosingtheExpectationsGap2010.

Professional Development Opportunities


Professional Opportunities

MCC Faculty Symposium and Articulation Agreement Day, April 8, 3pm – 5pm, Massasoit Community College, Canton Campus, 900 Randolph Street, Canton. Meet statewide high school faculty and community college faculty to network, collaborate, develop articulation agreements, and provide opportunities for your students to earn college credits. This opportunity is directed to high school vocational instructors in HVAC, Diesel, and Electronic Engineering Technology. If interested, please RSVP by Friday April 2, and be sure to bring copies of your program curriculum and course syllabus. Call Patty Chambers (508.588.9100, ext. 2376) for more information or to register.

Teaching Entrepreneurship Workshop, Bristol Community College, April 13 – May 18 (five sessions), 3pm – 6pm. The Center for Business and Industry, in conjunction with the Academic Center for Entrepreneurship, is offering a professional development opportunity for vocational and career tech ed instructors. Entrepreneurship is a required Strand in all Chapter 74 programming; if you have never been trained to teach this, now’s your chance! Learn how to write an effective business plan, develop effective and professional marketing materials, and increase student computer literacy. Successful completion of the workshop sessions will result in 15 PDPs for you and the opportunity to create a new articulation agreement with BCC. There is a $250 fee but you can use Chapter 74 PD funds as this supports implementation of the Frameworks. And don’t forget—1 out of every 10 students goes on to own their own business! Contact Jeanne Girard at 508-678-2811, ext. 2695, for more information.

CHANGING SCIENCE, CHANGING SOCIETY: An exposition of initiatives, coalitions & social movements engaging with scientific, technological & social change, April 16, 1pm – 5pm, UMass Boston, McCormack Bldg, 3rd Floor, Ryan Lounge. Exhibit your group's work or attend to learn from others--or both. There is no fee to attend. Register or get more information about guest speakers and other activities.

Learning Ocean Science through Ocean Exploration Workshop: Part II of II, May 8, 8am – 3:30pm, New England Aquarium, Boston, MA. Join educators during this FREE follow-up session to the introductory professional development workshop on Learning Ocean Science through Ocean Exploration, a curriculum developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER). Conduct inquiry- and standards-based activities tied directly to ocean expeditions with Ocean Exploration Facilitator Tami Lunsford. Dr. Dwight Coleman, Director of the Inner Space Center at URI, will discuss ocean exploration and archaeological oceanography, and the Inner Space Center, a new facility built to support both these disciplines through live ship-to-shore telepresence technology. Geared for educators, grades 6-12; PDPs are available for those completing an additional project. Advance registration is required; registration deadline is April 23, 2010.

ELA Accuplacer Alignment Seminar, April 30, 2010, 8am – 3pm, Bristol Community College. Join us for the companion event to our successful Fall Math Accuplacer Alignment Seminar. This professional development opportunity will allow secondary and postsecondary English faculty to have a frank discussion concerning college preparation and college performance expectations using college placement tests as focal point. Participants will work together to analyze two English college placement tests, and working across institutions, develop an English-based crosswalk instructors can use to better address student skill gaps and ensure college readiness in writing and reading.

Connecting Activities Conference, Tuesday, May 18, Hogan Campus Center, College of the Holy Cross, 9 am – 3:30 pm. This conference will focus on promoting health and safety as an employability skill for young workers by connecting participants with promising practices that support safe and healthy workplaces. It is an opportunity to share state and local tools and resources that: 1) protect working youth today; and 2) equip them with the skills to support safer, healthier workplaces in the future. Click here to see the event Save the Date flyer and here if you might be interested in presenting. Register for the conference and view the draft agenda.

Sixth Annual CONNECT Composition Conference: Supporting College Writers in the Classroom, Cape Cod Community College, Barnstable MA, Friday, May 21, 2010, 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Carol Severino, Director of the Writing Center and Writing Fellows Program at the University of Iowa. This conference will focus on the reading and writing transitional needs of students and will be valuable for high school English faculty. Registration for K-12 faculty and staff is $20 and includes lunch.

Student Opportunities


Student Opportunities

BCC’s 3rd Annual Cake Show, April 10, 2010, 777 Elsbree Street, Fall River. BCC’s SkillsUSA team is sponsoring a Cake Show with demonstrations, exhibits, and of course, food for sale. This year’s Show will feature a chef from the Culinary Institute of America, a food scientist from Johnson and Wales, and a few private industry reps who will showcase the latest equipment and techniques. The event will also feature an option for ice carving and cocoa butter painting classes. For more information, contact Gloria Cabral, (508) 678-2811, ext. 2940.

2010 NASA/USA Today ‘NO BOUNDARIES PROJECT’ for Students, Grades 7 - 12. This free project is designed to help 7th-12th grade students explore science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers. The project is team-centered, cross-curricular, aligned to national standards and structured to require minimal teacher preparation. This project will introduce students to the limitless opportunities at NASA and encourage them to work toward STEM careers through stimulating project-based learning and team competition. First-place winners will receive a VIP experience at a NASA center and a $1,000 cash award. Second and third place will receive $500 and $250 respectively. Contest deadline April 15, 2010.

Film Your Issue 2010 Competition. Think you have a solution to problems with the environment, economic recession, education, healthcare, human/equal rights, national security/defense, poverty, public service or technology? Film Your Issue at www.youtube.com/filmyourissue or submit it through a song at www.youtube.com/whatsyourissuemusic. The Film Your Issue competition, in its 5th year, is looking for solution-project ideas to front-burner issues from young adults 14 to 24 in a 3-minute video format, with accompanying one-sheet description. Winning solution-projects will be presented to senior officials in the Obama administration, broadcast on screens in every Best Buy store on the planet, presented at a VIP reception in Washington, DC.  Winners will be flown to Los Angeles for the Awards ceremony co-hosted by Sony Pictures Studios.  Prizes include an Apple MacBook and iPod Touches, and Sundance Film Festival 2011 Film School Pass. www.whatsyourissue.tv. Deadline: April 19.

Six Flags Friends Scholarships. DoSomething.org has teamed up with Six Flags Friends to award college scholarships to young leaders who are taking action to make their community a better place. Scholarships will be awarded based on past, current and planned action in the community as well as the applicants passion, commitment and proven leadership skills. Six winners will receive a $1,500 college scholarship. Deadline: April 30.

Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes Invites Nominations for its Young Heroes Award. The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes is accepting applications for its 2010 Young Heroes Award. The award is designed to honor young people between the ages of 8 and 18 who have made a significant positive difference to people and our planet. Ten winners will receive $2,500 to support their service work or higher education. Deadline: April 30.

Stuck at Prom® Scholarship Contest. Here’s an amazing opportunity for fashion design students! Duck Tape® sponsors this annual contest where students create prom attire for a couple out of Duck Tape®. Once entries are submitted, judges select the top ten, and then student vote online for their favorites. Check the rules and information, or get inspired by past and current entries. Deadline: June 7, 2010.

Resources of the Month


Resources of the Month

AWARD: ING Unsung Heroes. The ING Unsung Heroes awards program recognizes innovative and progressive thinking in education through monetary awards. Are you an educator with a class project that is short on funding but long on potential? Do you know a teacher looking for grant dollars? ING Unsung Heroes® could help you turn great ideas into reality for students. Each year, 100 educators are selected to receive $2,000 to help fund their innovative class projects. Three of those are chosen to receive the top awards of an additional $5,000, $10,000 and $25,000. Eligibility: full-time educators, teachers, principals, paraprofessionals, or classified staff members with effective projects that improve student learning at an accredited K-12 public or private school. Deadline: April 30.

GRANT: Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation (MEAF) Invites Nominations for Inclusion Champion Award. The MEAF is accepting nominations for its Inclusion Champion Award. The award honors individuals who have made significant efforts to promote the full inclusion of youth with disabilities in society. The focus of the efforts may include, but is not limited to, helping to create a culture of inclusion within an organization or community or developing innovative strategies for inclusive programming in school activities, after-school programs, community service, and leadership development. Deadline: May 1.

GRANT: American Honda Foundation Provides Educational Grants. The American Honda Foundation provides grants to nonprofit organizations and public/private elementary and secondary schools for programs that benefit youth and scientific education. Grant awards range from $20,000 to $60,000. Deadline: May 1.

Articulation Update


Articulation Update

That’s not the rain… Regional Articulations are flooding the region! This past month, regional articulations have been sent out to schools with Chapter 74 programs in Culinary Arts, Drafting, Environmental Science & Tech, Graphic Communication. More regional articulations are in the works for Electricity, Electronics, Machine Tool Tech, and Design & Visual Communication. Continue to check here for monthly updates. These articulations are sent directly to your superintendents, so be on the lookout and be sure to get your signed and returned. Remember, these articulations will be automatically updated each year and fully reviewed every three years.