North Offers First 2-year
Nanotechnology Degree in Pacific NW
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.
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!
In 2012 North Seattle College was named a National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education Regional Center for Nanotechnology Education with a grant of a little under $3 million over four years. This center allows North to expand on the work accomplished over the past three years through a previous NSF Advanced Technological Education project grant.
The Regional Center, called Seattle’s Hub for Industry-driven Nanotechnology Education (SHINE), works with academic, industry and government stakeholders to promote awareness of the principles of nanoscience and to serve the current and future needs of nanotechnology industries by expanding the diversity and number of trained nanotechnologists in the region (Washington, Oregon and Idaho).