Success Stories

Female Student in a Lab

Carl Sandburg Biofuels – Preparation for a Fast Growing Field

The Biofuels Manufacturing (BFM) Technology AAS degree at Carl Sandburg College provides students with a challenging curriculum and a comprehensive introduction to the fast growing field of biofuels manufacturing. The 64-credit Associate in Applied Science degree embedded general education courses within core classes that focus on Biofuels Manufacturing Technology. Some of the courses students take include BFM.101: Biofuels Fundamentals, BFM.201: Ethanol Production, BFM.202: Biodiesel Production, and BFM.203: Water Treatment & Control.

Each semester, students taking Biofuels Manufacturing Technology courses at Carl Sandburg College are given the opportunity to visit Big River Resources, LLC, a working Biofuels Manufacturing plant in Galva, IL. Big River Resources, LLC has proven to be a strong industry partner not only in terms of providing plant tours and professional internships, but also through their active participation in Advisory Committee meetings and curriculum consultations. The company has even provided a student referral for Carl Sandburg College, student Jacqueline Peel.

This first Carl Sandburg College student to pursue an AAS degree in Biofuels Manufacturing Technology is slated to graduate in May 2016. Peel is an exemplary student and a wonderful addition to the Carl Sandburg College community. She has embraced the challenging curriculum and excelled in the classroom. Initially, Peel was only interested in completing the AAS degree, but her success in the classroom has encouraged her to pursue further higher education. Upon completion of the BFM AAS degree, Peel intends to enroll at Western Illinois University to study Microbiology.

The student is currently engrossed in a professional summer internship at Big River Resources, LLC. Application of students’ classroom knowledge to real world situations is a major component of the Biofuels Manufacturing Technology AAS degree. Recently, Peel shared the following about her internship experience, “This week I am doing the lab. I really love this and I can see the resemblance between our lab [at Carl Sandburg College] and the one here [at Big River Resources, LLC]. “Because of our lab I feel like I have a good understanding of it.”

The Biofuels Manufacturing (BFM) Technology AAS degree at Carl Sandburg College was funded as part of the IGEN Career Pathways Project.