Model Highlights

The BETSI Model is an educational and training cascade designed to train high school biology teachers and to educate Sweetwater Union High School District students in biotechnology and recruit them into the Biotechnology Certificate Program at Southwestern College (SWC). After completion of the SWC Biotechnology Certification Program, biotechnology students are provided internship opportunities culminating in expanded training, skills and employment opportunities.

  • Access to state-of-the-art equipment and technology
  • Rich, hands-on learning experiences in a supportive and diverse community
  • Innovative curriculum materials for high school biology teachers & students
  • High school teacher training and technical support
  • High school classroom outreach assistance to facilitate implementation
  • High school student exposure to biotechnology through BETSI Mobile Lab
  • SWC Biotechnology Program students serve as mentors to high school students and teaching assistants
  • Student & parent workshops for interested high school students
  • SWC student training in Biotechnology
  • Mentoring collaborations with 4-year institutions for SWC transfer students
  • Internships with biotechnology industry, research institutes & universities

The BETSI Model and the Southwestern College Biotechnology Program were highlighted by ATETV as an example of National Science Foundation (NSF), Advanced Technological Education (ATE) successful models from community colleges and ATE programs nationwide.

Watch the ATETV videos highlighting the program:


The Biotechnology Education & Training Sequence Investment (BETSI) Model was established in 2004, funded by the National Science Foundation, Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE), Advanced Technological Education (ATE) grants #0402453 (2004-2009) and #0702980 (2007-2010) and built on the foundation of the Southwestern College Biotechnology Program Southwestern College in southern San Diego County.

The BETSI Model was designed as an educational cascade that starts with high school teacher training and student outreach, followed by the completion of the SWC Biotechnology Certification Program and internship opportunities, culminating with facilitation of jobs in the biotechnology industry.

The BETSI Model supports Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD) students and Southwestern College (SWC) Biotechnology Program students as they advance through the educational system and prepares them for college and careers in biotechnology.

The BETSI Model offers high school teachers professional development and training opportunities through its BETSI Leadership Institute. The teacher-student format of the BETSI Leadership Institute introduces teachers and select high school students to advanced biotechnology techniques, activities and theory included in the BETSI curriculum.

The BETSI Mobile Lab allows trained teachers to integrate activities practiced during the BETSI Leadership Institute into their classrooms by providing ongoing access to state of the art equipment, supplies and technical support. This outreach guarantees the successful implementation of the BETSI curriculum. SWC Biotechnology Program students act as mentors and technical support in the high school classroom.

The BETSI Model supports the continuous update of the SWC Biotechnology Program curriculum, based on industry standards and requirements. The BETSI Model also provides internship opportunities to SWC Biotechnology Program students as well as a parent and student workshop to increase community awareness of the importance of the biotechnology industry in San Diego and the educational and career opportunities available at Southwestern College.

Additional Information