Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
BI 112
Course Title:
Cell Biology for Health Occupations
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Includes the study of the scientific method, cellular chemistry, cell structure and function, principles of inheritance, and laboratory skills. Includes topics and skills required to continue to Anatomy & Physiology and Microbiology. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115, and MTH 65 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. The theory of evolution meets the criteria of a scientific theory. In contrast, creation €œscience€ is neither self-examining nor investigatory. Creation €œscience€ 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).
  4. 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

A student will collaboratively and independently:
A. Analyze their individual thinking and learning styles & how their styles can be integrated with methods used in science.
B. Use an understanding of biological and chemical principles of cell function as a base for further learning in the health sciences.
C. Build on the laboratory research experience to organize data and information in order to draw conclusions and identify new investigative paths.
D. Use scientific vocabulary and an understanding of the scientific method to critically evaluate current health issues in our society.

Course Activities and Design

The format for this course is a traditional lecture and laboratory presentation. Lecture will be presented utilizing a variety of multimedia and interactive presentations. Laboratory experiences will be largely hands-on, team based and collaborative utilizing a variety of resources including but not limited to: multimedia, prepared microscope slides, human and animal specimens.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  1. tests/quizzes
  2. oral presentations
  3. papers
  4. journals/lab notebooks
  5. group projects
  6. practical exams
  7. case studies

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes, Issues, Concepts:

Scientific Method and Measurement

A.            Scientific Method

B.            Metric System

Basic Principles of Life

A.            Levels of Biological Organization

B.            Evolution

C.            Taxonomy of the Kingdoms/Domains

D.            Structure Dictates Function

E.            Homeostasis

F.            Cell Theory


A.            Atoms and Molecules

B.            Chemical Reactions

C.            Chemical Bonding

D.            Hydrogen bonding

E.            pH, Acids, Bases, and Buffers

F.            Properties of Water

H.            Organic Molecules

I.             Water and Lipid Solubility

Cell Structure and Physiology

A.            Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cell Structures and Functions

B.            Cell Membrane Transport

C.            Diffusion, Osmosis and Concentration Gradients

D.            Enzyme Structure, Activity and Regulation

E.            Cellular Metabolism

F.            DNA Structure and Function

G.           Protein Synthesis


A.            Mitosis and Meiosis

B.            Mendelian Genetics

C.            Patterns of Human Inheritance