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BioSci 140 - Introduction to Human Genetics - Ben Vallejo

Course:Introduction to Human Genetics
Professor:Ben Vallejo
  • Online
Course Length:
  • Applies to All Course Lengths


Professor Vallejo in a stylish green polo shirt

Hello students, I am Ben Vallejo, your BioSci140 Professor this semester.  If you have any questions, feel free to email me at, You may visit my office hours remotely on Wednesday mornings (7:45am to 8:30am) starting the first week of the semester via Zoom.  Please let me know that you will be dropping in by sending me an email on Tuesday night by 11PM.

Watch this short video below to start to get to know Professor Vallejo

Course Description

  • This class introduces the principles of human genetics and the function of DNA; genes, chromosomes and patterns of inheritance are explored.
  • The class is designed for students other than biological science majors. 
  • In this course you will learn the basic principles of human genetics that include transmission genetics, patterns of inheritance, structure and function of genes, and chromosomes, genetic disorders, population genetics, genetics of immunity, cancer, and aging, and various genetic technologies (including but not limited to reproduction, cellular, and molecular).

What to Expect in this Course

  • In order to do well in all parts of student learning objectives (SLO), you are required to read all assigned reading materials in the required textbook and complete the genetics homework assignments in the program that accompanies the textbook called Connect. All lecture videos, additional assignments, and summative assessments will be made available on Canvas. 
  • This is a fixed-date online course that will start according to the academic calendar that is available in MyCanyons.
  • Most formative assignments, including homework assignments and chapter quizzes, will be posted in Connect.  Learning materials such as syllabus, lectures, outlines, additional assignments, and midterm exams will be in Canvas. 
  • Students will be asked to complete ALL assignments, quizzes, and exams within the specific dates posted on the Canvas platform, under the Syllabus heading.
  • Since this is a 100% online class, there will be no make-up exams.  The exams, quizzes, and assignments are opened for the duration of a posted due date window.  You need to manage your time/date schedule to complete the assigned course tasks accordingly.
    In the event of a medical emergency due to severe illness, hospitalization, family emergency (i.e., death of a family member), or an extreme hardship, signed official documentation (i.e., physician’s report, hospital receipt, or death certificate) will be required as evidence to be considered for an extended date of taking the make-up exam or quizzes.
  • Students who fail to complete the first Module 1 assignments during the first week of class may be dropped from the course.
  • Students are required to enter and must complete the “Introduce yourself discussion” on the Canvas Discussion Board during the first week of class - failure to comply with these mandatory requirements may result in an automatic drop from the course roster in order to accept students on the waiting list.

Types of Assessments

  • There are 14 modules in Canvas.  Each module there may be a combination of reading assignments, short end of the chapter quizzes, discussion threads, and video simulations that must be completed for credit toward the final grade.
  • There will be three midterm exams from chapters in our course textbook and a cumulative final exam.
  • Students must score 70% or higher at the conclusion of the course to pass.  The standard grading scale will apply: A=90%, B=80%, C=70%, D=60%.

Textbook Information

Ricki Lewis: Human Genetics: Concepts & Applications (13th ed., 2021)

You can acquire an e-book along with access to the Connect platform, via the COC Bookstore.  This is the best option for you.  Alternately, you can try to electronically purchase McGraw-Hill e-book by viewing this web link: or search for a cheaper option online, whether a previous edition or a rental.  You will still need access to the current edition of Connect. If you purchase your materials through the bookstore, however, you have their assistance to resolve textbook or Connect issues.  If you would like a hard copy (loose leaf or bound), those are available as well for an additional cost.  These are not required, may be a preferred reading format for some students.

Other Relevant Course Information

  • The largest section of points toward your grade is from Connect assignments.  Therefore, be sure to obtain access to the Connect Platform.  To access Connect and Canvas, you will need reliable access to the internet via a computer, tablet or phone. 
  • If you need help with computer questions, Canvas support, and/or computer loans, you can go to:
       ASG Computer support: 
    ASG Computer Labs (
       or TLC Canvas support: The Learning Center (
  • Stable internet access via a computer is required, and you should have basic computer skills, including how to attach files to emails and upload files to Canvas.  All lecture materials will be made available on Canvas via the Module, Assignment, and Dashboard menus.
  • Students will submit most of the required course assignments and exams via Connect.  Some assignments, all lectures, and all discussions will be available in Canvas.

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore). The phone number is 661-362-3259 that you can call 24/7. You can also e mail for an appointment at At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center will be in the new Student Services Building.

Also, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is now 988. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can call it when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.

You can also now use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. Someone will get back to you immediately. Its free, 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


The Library provides live online and in-person research help, access to a full range of e-resources and physical materials that support the curriculum, individual and group study areas, and much more!

Last updated: 07/21/2023 Sub#: 1607