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New laboratory science program gives CCCC students competitive advantage

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Click to enlarge,  Instructor Dr. John Eylers checks equipment in the biology lab at Central Carolina Community College's Harnett Health Center. Eylers developed a new Laboratory Sciences program that launched this summer. For more information, contact him at 910-814-8853 or by e-mail at

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Instructor Dr. John Eylers checks equipment in the biology lab at Central Carolina Community College's ... (more)

05.29.2014College & CommunityCollege GeneralCurriculum ProgramsContinuing Education

LILLINGTON - Whether applying for an entry-level position in the biotechnology industry or preparing for academic research, a new laboratory science program at Central Carolina Community College makes students more competitive.

Dr. John P. Eylers, instructor in medical programs, developed the new Laboratory Sciences program when he realized that teaching basic laboratory principles and procedures all in one course would definitely give graduates a competitive edge.

"If you're doing anything in the biological sciences such as bio processing, bio technology or forensics, there is a lab that goes with it," Eylers explained. "The essential things you need to know to work in a laboratory are the same, however. This course is designed to provide all of these basic skills at one time, in one place."

The laboratory sciences program is offered via two curriculums--Biological Sciences and Continuing Education. Under Biological Sciences, students earn credit hours that are transferable to other institutions. The course, titled Biology 280, will be offered in the fall. The program offers continuing education students 15 continuing education units and a Laboratory Assistant Certificate that qualifies them to work in any laboratory setting. The Laboratory Assistant Certificate program is being offered this summer.

"The opportunities contained in this program abound," said Eylers. "Usually when you go into a laboratory, you learn by doing. With this course, students already know the basic procedures so that they become more desirable as entry-level employees, or they can advance if already employed. If they are going on to study advanced biology, they must know these skills to conduct biological research. It is a win/win in both situations."

Among the skills included in the program are laboratory safety, basic laboratory math, lab measurement, solution preparation, spectrophotometry, separation techniques, chromatography, microscopy and aseptic techniques. Students also learn in a state-of-the-art facility, CCCC's new 52,000-square-foot Harnett Health Sciences Center, located at 51 Red Mulberry Way in Lillington.

The Center features several laboratories, including a spacious biology lab containing a biological safety cabinet, chromatography machine, research grade microscopes, DNA finger printing equipment, spectrophotometer to measure the absorption of light in a solution and other standard laboratory equipment.

Two key factors in the program's development are the population explosion in Harnett County and the construction of new health care facilities along U.S. 421 in Dunn and Lillington. Some of the health care providers already located in or planned for the area are the new Central Harnett Hospital, Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine, East Carolina University Dental Center, First Choice Community Health Center and Good Hope Hospital.

The increase in medical providers and support businesses has already increased the need for workers with health care-related skills, said Eylers. Many of them will come out of this program.

For more information concerning the Laboratory Sciences program at CCCC, contact Dr. John P. Eylers at 910-814-8853 or e-mail him at