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CCOG for BI 112 Spring 2024

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

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 and physiology and microbiology. Prerequisites: IRW 115 or (WR 115 and RD 115), and (MTH 65 or MTH 98) or equivalent placement. 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 “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).
  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

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Design and perform experiments using scientific terminology, laboratory tools, and the scientific method.
  • Evaluate data and conclusions using the scientific method and critical thinking skills.
  • Evaluate health-related issues in society using the fundamental principles of biology, chemistry, and cell function.
  • Organize, represent, and use scientific data to draw appropriate conclusions.

Quantitative Reasoning

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to analyze questions or problems that impact the community and/or environment using quantitative information.

General education philosophy statement

Bi 112, Cell Biology for Health Occupations, is a condensed five-credit cellular biology class. It is one possible prerequisite for microbiology and the 200 level human anatomy and physiology series, which are required by many allied health programs (e.g., nursing, dental hygiene, x-ray technology). Students practice the process of science in the classroom and laboratory. The bulk of Bi 112 is at the scale of the cell and its molecular components; emphasizing human physiology. The course explores topics such as how energy from our food is transformed so that it can drive cellular processes, and the mechanisms of gene expression and human heredity. The laboratory activities, in particular, promote quantitative skills as students must gather and interpret data. Students also engage with the scientific literature by finding and summarizing published scientific papers.

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