Biology 612

Special Topics: It's More Than Just the Genes - Online Course
Completed Summer 2019

Course Coordinator: Leta M. Tribble, Ph.D. (864) 943-4170;

Course Description

Bio 612 examines specific factors that impact phenotype, behaviors, and health. The course will focus on human variation, global health as related to environmental factors and spread of disease, gene structure and function, and animals as model organisms. Bio 612 is a hybrid course consisting of online didactic instruction followed by an in-person interactive laboratory workshop. Teachers will be introduced to a variety of new classroom tools and strategies to use in the classroom. 

The course requires the completion of online didactic instruction and a concluding interactive two-day laboratory workshop either on the GGC campus in Greenwood or at Trident Technical College in North Charleston.

Course materials will be available via Lander University’s Blackboard System beginning May 15.

Participants are responsible for accessing the material and meeting all assignment deadlines.


This graded course carries 3 graduate credit hours which may be applied to teacher re-certification or to a graduate program for South Carolina teachers. Out-of-state teachers must satisfy out-of-state fees to receive graduate hours.


The course includes online lectures through Lander University's Blackboard system as well as a workshop including lab activities.

Course Objectives

  • To increase understanding of the role that outside factors play on gene function and expression
  • To examine the role of genetic variation in human disease
  • To explore the topic of global health and the impact of environmental influences on health
  • To expose teachers to current topics and technologies to facilitate classroom learning and laboratory opportunities
  • To provide science instruction in genetics that supports the SC Science Standards and promotion of STEM careers.

Lecture Topics

  • Human variation: polygenic traits and diseases
  • An introduction to global health
  • Environmental influencers on health: water quality
  • Gene structure and function using the beta globin gene as a model
  • Animals as model organisms


The required two-day workshop offered at the conclusion of the online course will engage teachers in new lab activities and classroom exercises that support the lecture materials. To reach more teachers across the state, this year the workshop will be offered on both the GGC campus in Greenwood and the campus of Trident Technical College in North Charleston. 

Workshop dates are June 17-18 in Greenwood and June 20-21 in North Charleston. A third workshop may be added in Greenwood depending upon registration numbers.


Bio 612 is a graded, graduate level course requiring:

  • Viewing of all online lectures
  • Completion of all online quizzes and assessments
  • Completion of assigned readings
  • Attendance at one of the hands-on workshops


Registrations are invited from instructors at the high school and undergraduate levels. The level of instruction assumes the applicants have some biology and human genetics training. Three graduate credit hours will be offered to SC teachers through the Lander University Department of Biological Sciences. 

The course fee of $200 covers all course and workshop materials. A stipend of $150 will be available to the first 25 registrants. A non-refundable deposit of $50 is required at the time of registration with the balance due by May 10.
Meet the Shenal Family

Meet the Shenal Family

Our daughter, Ryleigh, was diagnosed with a rare chromosomal deletion shortly after she was born in 2010. Since we received her diagnosis, the Greenwood Genetic Center has become part of our family. They made certain that we did not feel alone, and they continue to provide ongoing, compassionate care for our child. The impact they have had on our family and others across the globe everyday is immeasurable. We can't imagine walking this journey without their...

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