Interested in the Sciences? How About Biotechnology?

Did you know Wilson Community College offers a two-year degree in biotechnology?

This field is designed to meet the ever-increasing demands for skilled lab technicians in a wide range of fields in biological and chemical technology. So if you find yourself interested in the sciences, this is a great option to explore.  The program focuses on biological sciences, biochemistry, and genetics.

The biotechnology program at WCC includes a diverse group of students, including traditional students, early college students, and high school students.  Biotechnology students attending the Wilson Academy of Applied Technology (WAAT), one of our early colleges, not only earn a high school diploma, but they also get a two-year degree at the same time. And we also partner with Sallie B. Howard to provide biotechnology courses to juniors and seniors as part of the College and Career Promise (CCP) program.

WCC’s biotechnology instructor, Stephanie Winstead, has a degree in chemistry and has work experience in the pharmaceutical industry — a win-win for our students.  She knows firsthand the importance of and the need for skilled workers in this field.  “After 17 years in the pharmaceutical industry, and as my career evolved from a training role to a more administrative role, I realized my passion was teaching.  While my career has changed, my goal is the same.  I now have the opportunity to train personnel for the job they want, rather than training them for the job they have. I am committed to giving students the skills necessary to successfully gain employment in the biotech field upon graduation.  I am incredibly thankful for the privilege of serving the needs of my community,” she said.

And to add to that, we just received some exciting news.  The North Carolina Community College System just announced that it was awarded $16.4 million over three years in federal funding to implement the NC BioBetter project.  This is part of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) Phase 2 Build Back Better Regional Challenge spearheaded by the NC Biotechnology Center.  The funding, awarded to Wilson Community College and nine other community colleges in the state, will help strengthen our state’s life sciences manufacturing cluster by expanding training and helping promote career opportunities to underserved communities.

With careers in biotechnology, the sky’s the limit.  Graduates are qualified in all kinds of industry and government, including research, manufacturing, and sales, just to name a few. We work with some of our local industries like Merck & Co., Purdue Pharma, Fresenius Kabi, Mayne Pharma, and Global Laboratory Services, Inc. Side note: Global Laboratory Services is not pharma, but rather agricultural biotechnology.  We have students doing work-based learning with them as crop protection agents, and they have recently hired one of our biotech graduates with hopes to hire more.  And we also have an apprenticeship program with GlaxoSmithKlein (GSK) in Zebulon.

But to be more specific, here’s the different types of work is available:

  • Monitors or measures manufacturing processes to identify ways to reduce losses, decrease time requirements, or improve quality;
  • Conducts routine and non-routine analyses of in-process materials, raw materials, environmental samples, finished goods, or stability samples;
  • Interprets test results, compares them to established specifications and control limits, and makes recommendations on appropriateness of data for release;
  • Compiles laboratory test data and performs appropriate analyses; and
  • Completes documentation needed to support testing procedures, including data capture forms, equipment logbooks, or inventory forms.

If you’d like more information about the biotechnology program, contact Stephanie Winstead, Biotechnology Instructor, at, or Travis Flewelling at or (252) 246-1210. #WilsonCC We make Wilson work.

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Due to the threat of severe weather, the college will be closed on Friday, September 7, 2023.