North Offers First 2-year Nanotechnology Degree in Pacific NW
Excellent Labs & Internship Opportunities
Flexibility & Diversity
North Seattle College is at the center of training in the nanotechnology field, as the first college in the region to offer a 2-year Associate of Applied Science degree in nanotechnology (established 2006) and, more recently, a certificate.
The College partners locally with the growing nanotech industry and with universities, including the University of Washington — with its cutting edge nanotechnology facilities.
The National Science Foundation has predicted a growing nationwide demand for technically skilled nanotech workers. North is preparing for that future by training the next generation of scientists and technicians — through ground-breaking college courses and by systematically spreading the word to the public and especially young people to guarantee a future workforce for this critically important field.
The Nanotechnology AAS-T degree curriculum was developed jointly with the UW Center for Nanotechnology and North’s Nanotechnology Technical Advisory Committee. A 1-year certificate in nanotechnology is now offered, as well as a transfer pathway to the UW, which offers undergraduate concentrations in nanotechnology.
North's program benefits from proximity to the UW with access to UW labs, including the microfabrication facility. Campus facilities were developed in partnership with the Washington Technology Center, using state-of-the-art nanotech and lab practices.
Students get hands-on training both on and off campus through labs, clean-room training and internships. Local start-up companies often hire graduates, especially after internship placements.
North's nano students also have the opportunity to be involved in outreach to the community and in K-12 education projects through a recent National Science Foundation grant award.
North’s nanotechnology instructor has an MS in chemistry from the UW with concentration in nanotechnology. She is current with what’s going on in this rapidly evolving field and has a strong collaborative relationship with her UW colleagues. The program also receives oversight from an active Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), including individuals from local companies such as Honeywell, Microvision, and EnerG2.
The curriculum includes courses in biology, chemistry, physics, math, electronics and an introduction to materials science — the study of the molecular structure of different materials and how that affects their macroscopic characteristics.
Nanotechnology classes are held on campus, scheduled mostly in the daytime, and are hands-on. Chemistry is offered on both a daytime and evening schedule.
The community college setting offers flexibility and responsiveness to changing industry needs. There is a strong focus on undergraduate education at North and a welcome to students of diverse backgrounds. Science interest among nanotech students is basic, but your peers in class could well be interested in photography, English, electronics, radio…or simply love tinkering!
The Nanotechnology program at North has been awarded a 3-year, $861,646 National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education project grant, which establishes the "Seattle Hub for Industry-driven Nanotechnology Education" (SHINE) to promote nanotechnology education in the Pacific Northwest. (See www.seattlenano.org.)
This project enhances North’s current program and demystifies nanotechnology with expanded outreach to the general public and to middle and high school students through membership in the NanoAmbassador Program, solidifies internships at local nanotech industry facilities, creates influential mentorships, and establishes a speakers series of former students and academics on SCCTV. The grant also supports an annual summer "Train the NanoTrainer" workshop, during which regional community college and high school educators become empowered to bring nanotechnology back to their home classrooms.