Dual-Credit Biology Syllabus

Campbellsville University Biology 110 Course Syllabus

Spencer County High School

Teacher: Amanda Simpson

Text: Biology, 9th Edition, Mader

Email: amanda.simpson@spencer.kyschools.us

School year: 2019-2020


  1. Course Objective

The dual credit course is designed to allow high school students the opportunity to earn college credit or to gain advanced placement in the college courses in which they enroll.Students will earn three college credit hours provided they earn a minimum grade of C or higher in the course.Campbellsville University requires a

3.0 GPA to enroll in a dual-credit course.


  1. Course Overview

Dual credit biology is designed to provide students with a solid foundation in introductory college-level biology.Instruction focuses on four big ideas:

1. The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life.

2. Biological systems utilize free energy and molecular building blocks to grow, to reproduce, and to maintain

dynamic homeostasis.

3. Living systems store, retrieve, transmit and respond to information essential to life processes.

4. Biological systems interact, and these systems and their interactions possess complex properties.


Biology is an inquiry-based course designed to familiarize you with science processes, skills, and understandings related to a wide range of topics in biology.  During this course, you will develop critical thinking skills to guide scientific investigation and to design and conduct your own investigations.  Skills you will develop include graphing and measurement, identification of research questions, making connections, and the ability to be self-directed learner.


  1. Instructional Context

Dual-credit biology meets with high school students five days a week, approximately 50 minutes per class session.Lab activities are incorporated into the regular instructional time.


  1. Investigative Laboratory Component

Students are given the opportunity to engage in student-directed laboratory investigations throughout the course.  Students will conduct a minimum of eight inquiry-based investigations.  Additional labs may be conducted to deepen students’ conceptual understanding and to reinforce the application of science practices within a hands-on, discovery based environment.


Science Practices: The student can

  • Use representations and models to communicate scientific phenomena and solve scientific problems.
  • Use mathematics appropriately.
  • Engage in scientific questioning to extend thinking or to guide investigations.
  • Plan and implement data collection strategies appropriate to a particular scientific question.
  • Perform data analysis and evaluation of evidence.
  • Work with scientific explanations and theories.
  • Connect and relate knowledge across various scales, concepts and representations in and across domains.





  1. Course Outline

Molecules and Cells


I. Water and its Importance to Life


* Abundance on Earth

* Structure of water molecule

* Relationship of water’s properties to living organisms

II. Carbon and the Molecules of Life


* Chemical bonding

* Structure of carbon and its significance 

* Functional groups

* Dehydration synthesis/hydrolysis reactions

* Major classes of Biomolecules: carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids 

III. Enzymes  


* Enzyme structure and specificity

* Regulation of enzyme activity

* Metabolic pathways

Cell Biology

IV. General cell structure review/prokaryotes vs eukaryotes


* Comparison of prokaryotes and eukaryotes

* Evolutionary relationship 

* General review of cell structures

* Functions and relationships of subcellular components

* Cell diversity

V. Membranes and Homeostasis


* Membrane structure models

* Cellular transport: passive and active

* Limitations of cell size

 Cellular Energetics:

VI. Principles of Metabolism


* Metabolism: Anabolic/Catabolic Pathways

* Energy transformations

* Thermodynamics and living systems

* ATP and coupled reactions 

VII. Fermentation & Cellular Respiration


* Structure of mitochondrion

* Glycolysis, Krebs Cycle, Electron transport Chain

* Chemiosmosis and ATP formation

* Fermentation pathways

VIII. Photosynthesis


* Chloroplast structure

* Light dependent reactions

* Light independent reactions/Calvin Cycle

* C3 and C4 Cycles


                     IX. Molecular Genetics

 Book Review: Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot


* Road to DNA: History 

* Structure of DNA and RNA

* DNA replication

* Protein Synthesis: Transcription & Translation

* Mutations

* Gene Regulation

* Eukaryotic vs Prokaryotic genomes

* Gene technology

 X. Cell Division: Mitosis & Meiosis


* Chromosome structure and number

* Cell Cycle & Mitotic cell division

* Chromosomal abnormalities

* Meiosis and variation

* Cancer

XI. Mendelian Genetics


* Mendelian Genetics, probability, segregation

* Variations of Mendelian Rules: incomplete dominance, codominance, polygenic traits, multiple alleles, etc.


XII. Evidences of Evolution & Natural Selection


* Darwin’s voyage on the HMS Beagle

* Evidences of evolution

* Population genetics, Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and problems

* Natural Selection, adaptations, speciation

* Modern examples of evolution

* Gradualism vs punctuated equilibrium

* Patterns of evolution and the diversity of organisms

Organisms & Populations

XIII. Three Domains, Taxonomy, Diversity

XIV. Animal Reproduction and Development


* Gametogenesis (meiosis review)

* Stages of  embryonic development 

* Modes of  sexual reproduction

* Regulation of reproduction (human menstrual cycle)

XV. Animal Structure & Function


* Feeding & Digestion

* Heart  and circulatory systems

* Immunity

* Principle of nervous system

* Gas Exchange

* Behavior

XVI. Plant Structure & Function

 Activity: Microscopic views of various plant tissue; monocot vs dicot, 

 leaf and stem, etc


* Alternation of Generations

* General structure, function & diversity (focus on Angiosperms)

* Reproduction (focus on Angiosperms)

* Plant hormones

XVII. Ecology


* Structure of an ecosystem

* Trophic structure

* Ecological succession

* Population dynamics

* Disruption of ecological balance

NOTES: This sequence allows flexibility to rearrange and recombine topics in order to complete the content. 


  1. Students are assessed by a variety of methods:
    1. Chapter or Unit Exams to ensure students keep up with basic info (specific concept, terms, reading assignments)
    2. Writing assignments directed toward application of current topics or special interests
    3. Independent projects
    4. Lab reports
    5. Grading scale: 93-100                     A                              77-79                       C+

                                                                90-92                       A-                            73-76                       C

                                                                87-89                       B+                            70-72                       C-

                                                                83-86                       B                              67-69                       D+

                                                                80-82                       B-                            63-66                       D

                                                                                                                                60-62                       D-

  1. Contact Information

For questions that may arise regarding any component of the course, I can be contacted most readily by email at amanda.simpson@spencer.kyschools.us.

Test and project dates can be found on Spencer County High School teacher website


                      Keep this document in the front of your biology binder the entire school year please.  Leave the signature below

                        attached, thanks. 


I have read and understand Mrs. Simpson’s biology rules and expectations.  Please sign.



Parent/Guardian Signature





Student Signature









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