Home Pre-AP Syllabus

Pre-AP Syllabus

by Kevin Patton

Pre-A&P Foundations in Science

BIO 095 Online Course Syllabus St.Charles Community College (SCC)

This syllabus applies to the following 2020 terms

Pre-Fall 1-wk FA01 Pre-Spring 1-wk SP01Summer 1st 5-wk SU0
Pre-Fall 1-wk FA02Pre-Spring 2-wk SP02 Summer 2nd 5-wk SU3
Fall 1st 8-wk FA1 Spring 1st 8-wk SP1 
Fall 2nd 8-wk FA2 Spring 2nd 8-wk SP2 


IMPORTANT notes: The syllabus page and attached pages posted on the web make up the OFFICIAL syllabus document for this course. Check it often for changes or updates. lionden.com/fis.htm Notices regarding tests, schedule changes, and other important information are posted on CANVAS. Your main learning guide is the set of Review Outlines found at lionden.com/fis_review.htm 
Changes do occur occasionally, so it’s important for you to be up to date.

1 | Overview

This is a Review Course

This course is intended as a quick “refresher” course to prepare you for successful entry in to an anatomy and physiology course (BIO 240). Although there is no credit toward a degree given for this course, successful completion of BIO 095 is a sufficient prerequisite for entry into BIO 250 at SCC.

BIO 095 is for students who have already learned all or most of this material in their prior learning. To clarify, you should have achieved most of the Objectives & Learning Outcomes listed below in the past, but probably forgot some of that and need some refreshing and reinforcement. You’ll also fill in any gaps in your prior learning. This course therefore QUICKLY reviews the concepts that you’ll need to “bring with you” into A&P and get a good start in that course.

This is a Self-Paced Course

The course is a “self-directed” distance learning course which means that you are “on your own” to review the material and take your tests and exam at your own pace.

This Course is Entirely Online

Please review all the material below before beginning the course to learn the details of how BIO 095 works. The technology needs are simple: you need a Canvas-compatible computer or other device with a Canvas-compatible browser connected to the internet.

Before going any further, please go to Distance Education Readiness to make sure you are prepared for the format of this course! If you are not ready, please consider enrolling in a different course, such as Human Biology.

liontrackPlease participate in the Online Orientation for this course for an overview of what to expect.

Note: BIO 095 is a PASS/FAIL course that is not for academic credit for a degree. It does, however, satisfy SCC’s prerequisite requirement for entry to A&P courses.

2 | Course Director

Video Introduction: Introduction to Your Course Director

Department Office: ADM 2442

Phone: 1·636·486·4185  |  Toll-free: 1·833·LION·DEN

Email: kpatton@stchas.edu

  • When using regular email, please use your SCC student email (not your personal or work email account)
  • You may address me as “Kevin” or “Dr. Patton” or “Professor Patton”
  • My preferred pronouns are he, him, his
  • ALWAYS include a subject line in your email identifying you as a “BIO 095 student” —so my spam filter won’t think it’s junk mail

Office Hours: I work from an off-campus office, but will gladly arrange a private web meeting.

For more detailed contact information: https://www.lionden.com/student.htm

3 | Course Materials

Do I need a textbook?

You may not need a book at all! This course is a review of your prior learning in biology. But if you want a book to help you, if you have a general Biology textbook or A&P textbook, you will find content that will help you.

4 | Objectives and Learning Outcomes

Your prior learning in science will have introduced you to the following basic concepts and skills for studying anatomy and physiology. This course reviews and refreshes them, plus fills in any gaps in knowledge.

Course-level goals are numbered by course module, except 11, which is addressed throughout this course. Lettered items are module-level goals that are also reviewed and reinforced in subsequent modules and the final exam.

When you are finished with this course, you should be able to…

  1. describe scientific methodology used in human sciences
    1. demonstrate competent use of scientific terminology
    2. demonstrate a working knowledge of metric (SI) units of measurement
    3. describe the scientific method, including development of theories
    4. interpret scientific graphs, tables, diagrams, and charts
    5. define life from a biological perspective
    6. describe the main levels of biological organization
  2. apply basic concepts of chemistry to human sciences
    1. describe the essential structural components of matter
    2. distinguish the main types of attractions among atoms
    3. describe the chemical properties of water in the body
    4. define pH; use the pH scale; define acid, base, neutral, and buffer in terms of pH
  3. demonstrate familiarity with biologically important macromolecules
    1. describe polymerization and define monomer
    2. list categories and examples of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, nucleic acids (and related molecules)
    3. give examples of hybrid molecules
    4. list important functions of each major type of macromolecule in the human body
  4. describe the basic structure and function of human cells
    1. describe the generalized human cell, including cytoplasm, nucleus, membranes, and organelles
    2. list important organelles found in human cells, describing the basic structure and function of each
    3. list and describe major types of cell junctions
    4. describe the extracellular matrix and list its main functions
    5. describe the life cycle of the cell, including major phases of interphase, mitosis, and cytokinesis
  5. describe how substances are transported across cell membranes
    1. distinguish between active and passive forms of transport
    2. define key terms related to solutions (e.g., solvent, solute) and diffusion (e.g., permeant, permeable)
    3. describe simple and facilitated diffusion
    4. distinguish between mechanisms of channel-mediated diffusion and carrier-mediated diffusion
    5. describe osmosis and osmotic pressure and their effects on human cells
    6. distinguish between cotransport (symport) and countertransport (antiport)
    7. describe mechanisms of vesicle-mediated transport
  6. describe how cells get energy
    1. describe the structure of ATP and its role in the cell energy cycle (ATP cycle)
    2. define metabolism and contrast catabolism with anabolism
    3. describe the basic structure of the cell’s metabolic pathway for transferring energy from nutrients, distinguishing between aerobic and anaerobic pathways
    4. describe the role of enzymes in metabolic pathways
    5. describe glycolysis
    6. describe the citric acid cycle
    7. define the role of the electron transport system
    8. describe the overall energy budget when transferring energy from glucose to ATP
  7. describe how cells use the genetic code to make proteins
    1. describe how information is encoded in the structure of DNA and RNA
    2. describe transcription and editing of a protein-coding gene
    3. outline the process of translating a gene transcript to produce a protein
    4. describe the significance of genetic mutations in protein synthesis
    5. describe the basic mechanisms for regulating gene expression
    6. identify the locations of DNA in a human cell and of the main steps of protein synthesis
  8. define and apply basic principles of human inheritance
    1. define genetics and genomics in terms of biological inheritance
    2. describe meiosis and contrast it with mitosis
    3. define what a gamete is and tell why it must be haploid
    4. identify Mendel’s role in the history of genetics
    5. define key terms of genetics: gene, trait, allele, homozygous, heterozygous, dominant, codominant, recessive, genotype, phenotype, carrier, mutation, deletion, duplication
    6. define the Law of Segregation
    7. define the Law of Independent Assortment
    8. describe hybridization, including monohybrid and dihybrid crosses
    9. interpret Punnett squares and pedigrees
    10. describe the concept of sex-linked traits
    11. distinguish btween nuclear and mitochondrial inheritance
    12. describe chromosomal and point mutations and their role in inheritance
    13. describe how traits can be inherited by epigenetic mechanisms
  9. describe the structure and function of the four basic tissue types in the body
    1. describe the structure and function of the extracellular matrix
    2. describe how epithelial tissues are classified by layers and cell shape
    3. explain how cellular junctions (desmosomes, gap junctions, tight junctions) play a role in epithelial structure
    4. distinguish between the apical and basal surfaces of epithelial cells
    5. list major functions of epithelial tissues in the body
    6. describe the general structure and function of connective tissues as a group
    7. compare and contrast elastic fibers and collagenous fivers
    8. identify the major types of connective tissue and give distinguish them by structural characteristics
    9. list and describe the three main types of muscle in the body, distinguishing them by structure and location
    10. define syncytium and describe its functional importance in the heart
    11. describe the two main types of cells in nervous tissue
    12. define synapse
  10. describe the basic body plan of the human organism
    1. tell why anatomical terminology is more accurate than plain English for describing human body structure
    2. describe the anatomical position in human anatomy
    3. use correct anatomical terminology to describe direction in the body
    4. identify the major types of anatomical planes in the body
    5. describe how organs are grouped into systems for biological study
    6. identify the functions and major organs of each of the eleven major organ systems of the human body
  11. work independently in a self-paced online science course
    1. succeed in taking online tests and exams
    2. communicate in professional scientific language, including correct spelling and usage of terminology
    3. exhibit ethical professional behavior, including academic integrity.

5 | How the Course Works

(it’s kinda weird, so read this closely)


In a nutshell, you work your way one-by-one through TEN online modules at your own pace, then take a comprehensive final exam that covers all ten major topics:

  1. Science Basics
  2. Introductory Chemistry
  3. Biological Chemistry
  4. Introduction to Cells
  5. Cell Transport
  6. Getting Energy
  7. Making Proteins
  8. Introductory Genetics
  9. Tissues
  10. The Human Body

Mastery Pathway

Each module consists of an online test.  There is more information about the tests in the later section Tests. A passing test grade is 85% or better.

I suggest that you take the test right away and maybe you’ll pass it. Even if you don’t feel confident, go ahead and try it. You may surprise yourself. At the very least, it’ll help you figure out where you need to brush up. You can take each test an unlimited number of times until you pass.

If you don’t pass it the first time, which is the most common experience, then you may want to review the Review Outline provided in the module. Each review outline summarizes some of the main points and helps you find what you need in a textbook to get ready for the test. After looking at the Review Outline, you may want to listen to the audio summary, which is simply a summary of selected highlights from the related Review Outline.

When you pass the test in the first module, the test in the second module is “unlocked” and you can now take that test. You cannot skip ahead . . . you must pass each module test to get to the next one. When you pass the last module test, the final exam will be “unlocked” and you are ready to finish the course!

If you fail to reach the final exam and pass it, then you have failed the course and must re-enroll. You can go at our own pace, of course. The final exam cannot be taken earlier than the midpoint of the semester or session in which you are enrolled. So the soonest you can finish the course is the “half-way” point on the academic calendar. You ordinarily have until the last day of the course to finish the final exam and thereby finish the course (check the Assignment page in our Canvas course for the exact date and time).

Retrieval Practice

Because this is a review course that refreshes and confirms competencies needed prior to entering the A&P course, success in the tests and final exam is the goal. There are no homework or reading assignments per se, only suggestions for reading, listening, and review if and when you need it.  It’s a learning process called spaced retrieval practice and, even though it’s  a bit weird, it works way better for long-term learning than the classic approach you may be used to.  And it’s ideal for a self-paced “refresher” course like this.


This is a pass/fail course. The passing course grade is 85% or better on all module tests and the final exam. That is, you must pass each and every module test and the final exam to pass the course. This course is not graded by total points or by test averaging. Instead, you simply have to pass all tests and final exam in sequence to pass the course.

You can gauge your progress in the course by watching the Canvas gradebook to see how many tests you’ve passed (out of ten, plus the final exam). The more tests you pass, the closer you are to your goal of passing the course. Canvas reports an average, but that doesn’t tell you how many tests you’ve passed—so it’s not helpful to you).

If you feel stuck, are confused about something, or need any kind of help, you can contact the course director any time.

6 | Web Skills & Websites

Web Skills

You need these basic skills to succeed in this course:

  • Use your internet browser to use website navigation tools (menus), click links/buttons to open new pages, progress through web resources, and submit tests, posts, or other forms.
  • Use your SCC student email or Canvas to communicate with the instructor or other students.
  • Know where to get help and support for computer questions and concerns.

Lion Den

  • URL: lionden.com Lion Den logo
  • This is my own (off-campus) website
  • Most course resources that do not require password security are located here
  • Any pages you might want to use in the Lion Den are accessible from within the course platform on CANVAS
  • Here’s a brief video orientation for finding course resources in the Lion Den youtu.be/jvjH3mWrEw8


  • Direct URL: stchas.instructure.com or access via the “quick link” for MySCC Portal at stchas.edu
  • CANVAS by Instructure is the learning management system (LMS) used by most SCC courses
  • All items that do require password security are located here
  • Any pages you might want to use in the Lion Den are accessible from within the course platform on CANVAS
  • Here’s a brief video orientation for finding course resources in the CANVAS course youtu.be/uL2kh-MEC0A


This online syllabus, which serves as the OFFICIAL document for this course, will occasionally be updated if necessary. Review Outlines and other required information is also located on the course website. Online Tests and the Grade Book are available on CANVAS (see below). Therefore, all students must have access to the internet and an internet browser. Your friendly and helpful SCC library reference specialist will help you with this, as will the science specialist in the ACE Center. CANVAS is a separate website that allows us to post online tests, individual grade records, and other resources on the internet.

To login to your course go to the SCC Portal (mySCC) and click on the Canvas link, or go directly to stchas.instructure.com and you will be prompted to enter your SCC user name and password. Find and click on the course title in the upper menu options after login. If you have any problems with logging on or accessing CANVAS, call 636-922-8555 for assistance or go to the Computer Help Desk in the SCC Library. You have to click into the course in CANVAS after registering for the course to appear in the CANVAS roster. Once you have access to Canvas, use the Help link at the bottom of the left global toolbar (red) for support options.

  • For help in preparing for and taking online tests click here.
  • For CANVAS hints and troubleshooting help specific to my courses click here.

SCC Website

The primary website for the college is stchas.edu (click on View Full Website, then click Quick Links at the very top).  There are also many other helpful links about resources and college policies, if you explore around a little.

hands on laptop keyboardComputers with high-speed internet access are available to ALL students in the ACE Center and LRC. Laptops with wireless access may also be checked out and used in the LRC. If you do not have home access to these resources, please make time to be on campus to use them.

7 | Tests

Objective online tests will be given on CANVAS (computerized online testing) ten times during the semester. In addition, their is a comprehensive online final exam that is also completely online. Online Tests are done on CANVAS, a program that allows you to take your test on the internet and receive immediate scoring.

Because the goal of this course is mastery of important core concepts, you may take each online test or exam as many times as you need to in order to pass it. Such “formative testing” is actually a learning process that helps you practice and reinforce essential concepts.

When taking an Online Test or Final Exam you may use your notes, textbook, online resources, discussions with other students, and previous attempts, but your answers must be your own and entered into the program only by you (you may receive direct help using the computer or CANVAS program if you need it). Each online test presents questions one at a time, just as with professional licensing exams and college-level testing services. That is, you must answer each item and save the answer before moving to the next item.

When the test is finished and you have “submitted” the test or exam for grading, you will know your score immediately and you can go back and look at the entire test. Items are marked as to whether they are correct or incorrect, but correct answers are not given (you must find those yourself as part of the formative learning process). Your personal learning goal for each test should be close to 100%. You must earn a score of 85% or better to pass and be able to move on to the next module. When you pass each test, you are automatically awarded a badge to show your mastery of that topic.

Each test on a single topic is generated individually from a large test bank and thus each attempt is different. Online tests are available only during the scheduled semester/session dates. Any attempts to take an online test after the designated time will be unsuccessful. Therefore, do not wait until the last minute to take your tests and final exam! If you don’t finish by the last day of the semester/session, then you will fail the course and you’ll have to re-enroll and start over.

The BEST way to improve your performance from test to test is to regularly perform a test analysis when you review each test after taking it. You may challenge any question/answer by contacting the course director with a copy of the item, including the test, attempt, and item number and documented reasons why you think it was scored incorrectly. General advice about preparing for and taking online tests is found at https://lionden.com/online_tests.htm Additional advice about using CANVAS and troubleshooting CANVAS is available at https://lionden.com/CANVAS-general.htm

It is your responsibility to keep track of your progress in the course. Grades will be posted in the gradebook at the CANVAS site for this course. Grades cannot be given out over the phone or by email in most circumstances. The official course grades are posted by the Registrar at SCC Connection (www.stchas.edu/academics/student-resources/scc_connection). Please check SCC Connection and investigate any possible errors or discrepancies immediately.

Please read through the notes at the Tests & Exam page.

8 | Critical Thinking

Our science faculty strives to facilitate each learner’s development of critical thinking skills in the context of each science course. Critical thinking skills include “higher order” types of thinking and reasoning abilities such as synthesis, evaluation, problem-solving, application, and so on. That is, using both new and old knowledge beyond simple memorization of facts. In this course, expect this kind of thinking to be evaluated in the form of test items that ask you to apply these skills.

9 | Extra Help

Getting Help

If you need extra help with the concepts of this course, then you may seek the help of your course director. The best way to get such help is through CANVAS email, by phone, or by Skype. Campus office hours are by appointment. Other instructors in the Life Science department may also be able to help you. The science specialist and others in the ACE Center can often help you.

For help in general study habits and test taking, we strongly recommend that you seek help from the regular staff of the ACE Center —especially their handouts and lunchtime seminars on study skills. I also have some study tips available online.

If you have any problems with the course or the instructor, SCC policy dictates that you must seek help from your instructor/course director first. If the problem is still not resolved, then you can bring your problem to the appropriate Dean (Lauren Dickens) or academic VP (Dr. John Bookstaver) for final disposition.


If you decide to voluntarily drop the course, you must officially withdraw at the registration office by the posted drop date to receive a “W” grade. If you never participate or just stop participating without officially withdrawing, you will receive the “F” grade.

Term/SemesterLast day to change credit/auditLast day to drop & receive W
1st 8-wks
27 January20 February
2nd 8-wks
23 March16 April
1st 5-wks
27 May9 June
2nd 5-wks
2 July15 July
1st Pre-Fall 1-wk
31 July31 July
2nd Pre-Fall 1-wk
7 August7 August
1st 8-wks
24 August18 September
2nd 8-wks
23 October17 November
Pre-Spring 1-wk
3 January3 January
Pre-Spring 1-wk
10 January10 January

Dates shown are the best available at the last syllabus update. Check stchas.edu to verify correct dates.

SCC permits administrative withdrawal (“AW” grade) of a student from a course by the faculty or administration for non-participation in a course. Students may appeal an administrative withdrawal to the academic dean of the Division of Business, Science, Education, Math, and Computer Science. This applies only to courses that are more than one week in length.

Although a student may be withdrawn involuntarily if not participating, students should not assume they will be withdrawn—it remains their responsibility to withdraw from any class they do not plan to attend. Please refer to the current official policy on voluntary and administrative withdrawals posted online at the SCC website. You are also welcome to ask for clarification from your instructor or from the staff at SCC Enrollment Services.

Specialized Help

The college years can be a time of growth and development as well as a time of challenges and stress. Students may experience that stress in many different ways. St. Charles Community College offers the opportunity to address your concerns with a FREE mental health counselor on campus.

SCC has a well-trained professional to help with a wide range of concerns common to college students including anxiety, eating concerns, alcohol/drug issues, relationship concerns, academic stress, suicidal thoughts, sexual and LGBT concerns. We are committed to providing high quality care guided by the SCC mission of serving our community by focusing on academic excellence, student success, workforce advancement, and life-long learning within a global society.

We celebrate diversity and we enrich the economic and cultural vitality of the region by providing an accessible, comprehensive, and supportive environment for teaching and learning. Our mental health counselor will offer short-term counseling, community support and referrals. Sometimes a student may require care beyond the scope of our counseling center and in these situations students will be assisted with establishing care off campus. Length of counseling varies. Some problems are resolved within one or two sessions. Other problems may require meeting more often. This will be determined by you and your counselor.

Please contact the mental health counselor using the contact information at the college website. Any faculty, staff, or student may submit a report to the Behavioral Intervention Team at http://publicdocs.maxient.com/incidentreport.php?StCharlesCC or by calling 636-922-8111. Any serious concerns of immediate response please direct to the SCC Department of Public Safety at 922-8545.

St. Charles Community College makes every effort to accommodate students with disabilities. If a student had a need for special accommodations, please contact the Office of Accessibility 636-922-8247. Requests for accommodations must first be processed through this office located in Room 133 of the Student Center.

As a faculty member, I am deeply invested in the well-being of each student I teach. I am here to assist you with your work in this course. If you come to me with other non-course-related concerns, I will do my best to help.

It is important for you to know that all faculty members are mandated reporters of any incidents of sexual misconduct. That means that I cannot keep information about sexual misconduct, stalking, relationship violence, or sexual harassment confidential if you share that information with me. SCC’s Title IX coordinators can advise you confidentially, as can SCC’s mental health counselors. They can also help you access other resources on campus and in the local community. SCC’s Prohibition of Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment and Violence Board Policy is available on-line at www.stchas.edu/titleix This includes policies, definitions, procedures and resources.

For information and details on these and other student related issues, please see the SCC Student Handbook.

If English is not your first language, click here for helpful tips.

scchelpldbutton Be sure to check your SCC student email account frequently for important information sent to you by SCC!

10 | Attendance & Student Behavior


For reporting purposes, attendance in this course is determined by your submission of online tests, which are automatically stamped with the time and date of submission. I will not officially verify your attendance in this course unless you are actually submitting online test attempts. The Student Understanding quiz does not qualify as a test for attendance recording.

Please be aware that we are usually given only a very brief reporting window some time during first week or two of the term. If there is a substantial gap in your participation prior to/during that window, then you will be reported as “not attending.” If you have not submitted a test by then, you may risk being administratively withdrawn or your financial aid or scholarship endangered. I strongly suggest doing at least one attempt of Test 1 very early in the course, to avoid such hassles.

Academic Integrity & Etiquette


This course is founded on the principle that all who participate will do so with the honesty befitting adult, professional studies. Without integrity of all students, the integrity of the course, this school, and your own credentials all suffer. This means that all students are expected to submit only their own work on online tests or any other component of this course. Thus, students may not receive inappropriate help nor give inappropriate help to other students.

SCC academic integrity policy outlined in the SCC Student Handbook stipulates a variety of possible outcomes of violation of principles of basic academic integrity. In this course, receiving or giving inappropriate help in online tests will ordinarily result in receiving “F” for the course and possible additional consequences. Inappropriate help may include having someone do all or or part of the work for you or copying someone else’s work and submitting it as your own. Doing coursework for another student is another example of misconduct. Misrepresentations in communications with faculty or staff may also be considered as a violation of academic integrity.

Students who witness or have reason to suspect violations of academic integrity in this course and do not report it promptly, thus further enabling the dishonestly, will themselves also be subject to disciplinary action.

Academic integrity matters may be reported using the form at http://publicdocs.maxient.com/incidentreport.php?StCharlesCC I strongly suggest that you read the brief article Why be honest?


All communication should be conducted using basic professional etiquette by being polite and supportive. Check this page for specific tips and expectations: Course Etiquette or view the Netiquette resource in this module in our Canvas course: SCC Institutional Resources.

Student Understanding

You are required to complete the Student Understanding, which outlines your responsibilities as a learner, on CANVAS (under “Getting Started”) as soon as possible. You will not be allowed to take the CANVAS online tests until you complete the Student Understanding by checking “I understand” for each of the items. Click here for a list of the items in the Student Understanding.

Please PACE YOURSELF so that you finish the course on time.

Be sure to double-check the deadline posted in the CANVAS course for the final exam. (I always state this in my “welcome message” in the course announcements.) It’s always a good idea to attempt an EARLY finish—just in case problems or distractions or blizzards or tornadoes arise at the last minute.

Extensions or “incompletes” are not ordinarily given in this course, so if you don’t finish by the deadline you must re-enroll in a new session of this course.

You may email the course director at this address kpatton@stchas.edu

Last updated: August 4, 2020 at 15:41 pm