The Discovery Institute at the College of Staten Island (CSI) has been awarded a three-year, $531,000 New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) grant entitled “Medical Laboratory and Assisting Program in Biotechnology for Manhattan Schools.”

This grant is the culmination of a highly successful collaborative educational initiative that began in 1991, as a consortium between the City’s Department of Education and CSI’s Discovery Institute. It brings the skills, information, and proven teaching/learning strategies of the interdisciplinary Discovery Institute to Manhattan high schools that enter into the consortium.

Dr. Michael Pappas, Acting Director of the Discovery Institute said, “The grant has three major goals: (1) to plan a Small Learning Community in Manhattan high schools that focuses on student career pathways related to the medical and allied health professions, and biotechnology, (2) to develop and implement a Medical Laboratory and Assisting Program in Biotechnology, and (3) to establish a Professional Development Center for Medical Laboratory and Biotechnology skills. Through this grant, the Discovery Institute and the College of Staten Island are expanding our highly successful, discovery-based educational formula to other boroughs in New York City.”

“The program offers students entry into multiple health career and related pathways, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and related careers, all of which are high-demand, high-paying, high-skills careers,” said Dr. Peter Takvorian, Project Director at the Discovery Institute. “These careers require education and training in both traditional and emerging technologies that benefit from “hands-on” activities and internship, embedded in our Career and Technology Educational initiatives.”

CSI’s Discovery Institute provides the necessary post-secondary expertise, teacher professional development, and other components to ensure that students are prepared for a seamless entry into health careers and clinical laboratory science degree programs without the need for remediation. High-technology health and science careers have rapidly changing skill sets and educational requirements. The Institute’s Medical Laboratory and Assisting Program (in Biotechnology) Career Pathways Program is now a NYS/NYC CTE-approved program that helps students meet high academic and employability competencies and Dr. Pappas believes that many schools will adapt it to their curriculum offerings.

This grant covers a period beginning July 1, 2010 and ending June 30, 2013 and is based on the Title II–Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006.