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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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College offers biology course

With only 40 minutes until the end of the lab, students rush to complete their assignments. As their eyes dart from microscopes to their lab reports, their minds already begin to answer the next set of questions. Amidst the chaos, the professor watches from afar as he offers guidance to high school students.

Fresno Pacific University (FPU) offers upperclassmen on campus the opportunity to enroll students in a college biology course.

?Fresno Pacific came to us and said that many of the best students that they get each year come from Fresno Christian so what can they do to encourage even more students to enroll at Fresno Pacific,? Principal Gary Schultz said. ?We are getting college biology for students and quality staff for the students.”

Dr. Alan Thompson, professor, teaches General Biology A which will introduce students to the basics of cell biology, molecular biology, anatomy and physiology.

?I am treating the students as college students and giving them the exact experience as an FPU student,? Thompson said. ?The class is more interactive because of the small class size, but the material is the same.?

Thompson received his B.S. in Environmental Toxicology at UC Davis, his PhD in Biological Sciences in Public Health from Harvard University and completed his three-year post-doctorate work on biological activities of lipids at UC Davis.

?The Provost of FPU, Henra Williams, asked me to teach this class and I was interested in seeing a different set of students and having a change of pace,? Thompson said. ?When I met Gary Schultz, he seemed very enthusiastic and positive which was helpful in making my decision to teach here.?

Students attend labs at FPU from 5:15-7:30 P.M. on Mondays. They also have lectures at Fresno Christian on Wednesday and Fridays from 2:15-3:30 P.M.

?I like the sciences because I am interested in the medical field and I want to see if I want to go deeper in this field,? Kara Linkowski, ?08, said. ?He [Thompson] is very laid-back, but very knowledgeable and you can tell he knows what he is talking about.?

Besides receiving high school credit, students will also receive college credit that will be transferable to graduate schools.

?Since it is an actual college class, it prepares me for college,? Linkowski said. ?We do not have homework assignments and he wants us to be independent and hold ourselves accountable in knowing the material.?

In addition to offering the course at one-third the regular price for $1,100 per semester, FPU paid for the $200 biology books.

?I don?t want to take the class during college, but I want to avoid taking the AP test because I want to be an Aerospace Engineer and blow up stuff,? Adam Casuga, ?09, said. ?At the beginning of the class, he asked us what our parent?s jobs are so he wouldn?t make jokes about their jobs, but failed miserably when he made a joke about doctors and lawyers.?

In addition to attending labs at FPU, students will also conduct a small research project.

?For the research project, I want the students to ask a question and find their own way in answering that question,? Thompson said. ?Biology has a lot of facts, but I want to wrap it so that the students understand about the conceptual ideas and not regurgitate facts.?

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  • L

    Leah ChristopherDec 16, 2009 at 6:47 am

    Is it Josh Hopper?

  • N

    Nacoya VillegasDec 16, 2009 at 6:47 am

    OMG!! Its my (potential?) husband!! I love Josh, he is a man of God and just being his friend brings me closer to Him everyday!

  • A

    Austin RurikDec 16, 2009 at 6:47 am


  • J

    Josh HopperDec 16, 2009 at 6:47 am

    You ruined it Mary! I never would have known myself! Like for real. haha.

  • M

    Mary HierholzerDec 16, 2009 at 6:47 am


    Sorry if I ruined it for anyone else trying to guess =)