Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
BI 102
Course Title:
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
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Special Fee:

Course Description

Presents protein synthesis, cell division, genetics, reproduction and development, and evolution. Designed as a laboratory science course for non-biology majors. The second course of a three-course sequence. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores, and BI 101. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

To clarify the teaching of evolution and its place in the classroom, the Portland Community College Biology Departments stand by the following statements about what is science and how the theory of evolution is the major organizing theory in the discipline of the biological sciences.

  1. Science is a fundamentally non-dogmatic and self-correcting investigatory process. In science, a theory is neither a guess, dogma, nor myth. The theories developed through scientific investigation are not decided in advance, but can be and often are modified and revised through observation and experimentation.
  2. The theory of evolution meets the criteria of a scientific theory. In contrast, creation "science" is neither self-examining nor investigatory. Creation €“science€ is not considered a legitimate science, but a form of religious advocacy. This position is established by legal precedence (Webster v. New Lenox School District #122, 917 F. 2d 1004).

Biology instructors of Portland Community College will teach the theory of evolution not as absolute truth but as the most widely accepted scientific theory on the diversity of life. We, the Biology Subject Area Curriculum Committee at Portland Community College, therefore stand with such organizations as the National Association of Biology Teachers in opposing the inclusion of pseudo-sciences in our science curricula.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion students will be able to:

1. Apply the scientific method to topics including genetics, evolution and reproduction.
2. Gather and organize information on current issues in genetics, evolution and reproduction, assess its validity, and differentiate factual information from
opinion and pseudoscience.
3. Apply concepts of genetics, evolution, and reproduction to novel problems, discern their meaning, and communicate their understanding to others.
4. Develop informed positions or opinions of a responsible citizen on contemporary issues in genetics, evolution and reproduction.
5. Apply course concepts in genetics, evolution and reproduction to their lives (personal and career) and to the world about them.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  1. tests
  2. oral presentations
  3. papers
  4. journals
  5. group projects
  6. practical exams
  7. case studies
  8. "team based"

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Students who have successfully completed biology 102 will be able to:

  1. Use the scientific method to look for the answers to questions
  2. Use scientific instruments safely and appropriately including microscopes
  3. Study effectively
  4. Communicate effectively (including using the metric system to communicate)
  5. Read and interpret scientific information (including information in the metric system)
  6. Synthesize to solve problems
  7. Organize ideas to achieve a specific purpose
  8. Apply theoretical and conceptual models and frameworks to real world situations.
  9. Analyze problem solving/decision making situations.
  10. Identify situations/concepts where science does and does not apply.
  11. Recognize scientific information and its role in decision making

Themes, Issues, Concepts:
DNA structure
Describe the basic structure of DNA and RNA
Explain how the structure of DNA allows it to store information, replicate, and transcribe information to RNA

  1. Protein Synthesis
  2. Describe protein structure
  3. Describe the process that is used to build proteins
  4. Explain the uses of proteins in the body
  5. Describe how a proteins structure determines its function
  6. Define the terms gene and allele

Cell Cycle

  1. Describe the stages of the cell cycle.
  2. Have a general understanding of meiosis and mitosis.
  3. Describe the major events of mitosis and meiosis.
  4. Describe the roles mitosis and meiosis play in the life cycle of an organism.
  5. Describe the genetic implications of meiosis .

Mendelian Genetics

  1. Explain the connection between genotype and phenotype.
  2. Use the vocabulary of Mendelian genetics to describe inheritance.
  3. Predict the proportions of offspring with various phenotypes and genotypes given parental genotypes.

Modern Genetics:

  1. Describe the chromosomal basis of inheritance.
  2. Explain the molecular basis of gene expression.
  3. Describe the importance of mutation.
  4. Define genetic engineering and explain the tools used to accomplish it.
  5. Describe the applications of genetic engineering and the ethical ramifications of its use.


  1. Define microevolution.
  2. Explain the forces that can cause microevolution.
  3. Explain the importance of variation to evolution.


  1. Define macroevolution.
  2. Explain the causes of macroevolution.
  3. Describe the evidence for macroevolution.
  4. Describe the conditions that are necessary for macroevolution to be likely.
  5. Discuss the common results of macroevolution.

Animal Reproduction and Development

  1. Explain the methods of animal reproduction
  2. Understand the principles of animal development