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Review: NDSU BIOC 2000
#1
North Dakota State University has a very cool set of courses intended for teachers at the following link:

https://www.ndsu.edu/dce/k-12/k12_listing/

Many of these courses, but not all, have EDUC prefixes.  Many, but not all, of these courses are online.

For several years, I have had my eye on one course: BIOC 2000 - Biomolecular Structure.  

https://www.ndsu.edu/dce//k-12/info/16760

Well, this year I was able to convince my wife to let me take the course.  Here's my review:

This class is kind of incredible.  It is a three credit graduate class in biochemistry.  The cost is technically $150, but this fee is reimbursed after completion of the course.  So it is three free graduate credits.  The class is mostly on-campus at North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND.  That said, food and lodging are included.  Students eat in the campus dining hall and stay at the Matthew Learning Center.  The major cost involved is getting to the campus in Fargo.  That said, Hector International Airport is within about two miles of the Matthew Learning Center, so a person really could walk from the airport and not have to rent a car.  Fargo is not the cheapest airport, so that would be the main cost involved in the class.

The main course instructor is Dr. Sangita Sinha.  She earned her doctorate from Purdue University and is the world's foremost expert on the Beclin-1 protein.  About half of the course is lecture and Dr. Sinha is a very engaging speaker and she really, really knows the topic.  She is married to the other course instructor, Dr. Chris Colbert.  He also earned his doctorate at Purdue and studied under a Nobel Prize-winning biochemist.  He is a very funny guy.

While half the course is lecture-oriented, the second half involves constructing models using molecule kits.  The first day, we focused on learning about the primary structure of proteins/polypeptide chains and constructing 20 common amino acids.  The second day, we studied secondary structure and linked the amino acids into polypeptide chains.  During the third day, we studied tertiary structure, created a protein model with a variety of folds and helix formations.  We also used the international protein database to manipulate proteins on our computers.  The final day was fantastic and we created our own double-helix DNA models.

The class was a lot of fun and the assignments were very doable even for an English/Econ. teacher like myself.  Basically, each student had to complete the models and the professors were there to help.  Another grade was based on printing proteins from the database and writing a paper or creating a slideshow reviewing what was learned in the course.

One of the most interesting aspects of the course was the fact that we were able to tour the labs and see cutting-edge research involving proteins.  This lab basically isolates proteins, turns them into crystals and then shoots photons through them at the Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago to determine their structure.  It is extremely cool.  There were some moments in the course during which the information flew over my head, but it didn't get in the way of course requirements and it is nice to be in the presence of extremely smart people.


One reason I am writing this review is that only three people took the class this summer.  The program is funded by the National Science Foundation and it is kind of a shame that no one filled the other seven spots.  The course will repeat next summer and that will be the last year.  It would be nice to see all ten spots filled and I think that there are some people on this site who would really love the class.  We ended up eating lunch and dinner all four days with the professors and they also bought us drinks on the last day.

One funny side note: Every night, I walked back to the dorm with another student in the class and we realized after a couple of days that we were both members of degreeforum.  This is the first time that I have met anyone from the site and it was a joy chatting with this individual throughout the week.

Anyway, it was a very enjoyable course.
University of Michigan, 1997, BA Ed.; Teaching Cert.: English/Social Sciences
Marygrove College, 2003, MAT
TESU, 2018, BSBA: Accounting/CIS; ASNSM: Math/Comp. Sci.; Certs: Finance, Org. Lead., Ops. Man., Marketing
University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, 2018, Grad. Cert.: Economics Ed.; 18 Grad. Credits - Economics
Harvard University Extension, 2019, Complete: Poetry in America Series; 20 Grad. Credits - English
[-] The following 7 users Like eriehiker's post:
  • alab21, hsfamfun, Leedeedee, Nixi, Sapientes, SuZQ2, tesu-acct-student
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#2
Wow, another great opportunity that you got in on! Sounds amazing.

LOL two out of three being degreeforum members Smile
Working on second TESU degree. Graduate in June?
First Masters complete.
TESU BSBA (with ASNSM) in March 2018.
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#3
(07-23-2019, 08:45 PM)Ideas Wrote: Wow, another great opportunity that you got in on! Sounds amazing.

LOL two out of three being degreeforum members Smile

I know.  It was so funny.  Maybe next year there will be eight or ten.  Smile
University of Michigan, 1997, BA Ed.; Teaching Cert.: English/Social Sciences
Marygrove College, 2003, MAT
TESU, 2018, BSBA: Accounting/CIS; ASNSM: Math/Comp. Sci.; Certs: Finance, Org. Lead., Ops. Man., Marketing
University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, 2018, Grad. Cert.: Economics Ed.; 18 Grad. Credits - Economics
Harvard University Extension, 2019, Complete: Poetry in America Series; 20 Grad. Credits - English
[-] The following 1 user Likes eriehiker's post:
  • Ideas
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#4
(07-23-2019, 09:18 PM)eriehiker Wrote:
(07-23-2019, 08:45 PM)Ideas Wrote: Wow, another great opportunity that you got in on! Sounds amazing.

LOL two out of three being degreeforum members Smile

I know.  It was so funny.  Maybe next year there will be eight or ten.  Smile

Wow! I wonder if you all found out about the program on DegreeForum first  Cool
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#5
I've never really gotten these courses. Aren't they mostly just education courses? Is there any use besides continuing education requirements for teachers?
Udi's Completed Courses (for credit)

7/01/2019: Study - Cybersecurity Policies and Management
6/27/2019: Study - Management Information Systems ($80)
6/23/2019: Study - Data Structures and Algorithms ($80)
6/18/2019: Study - Intro to Programming ($70)
6/11/2019: Study - Computer Architecture ($70)
6/07/2019: Study - Calculus ($80)
5/29/2019: Study - Computer Science 303: Database Management ($80)
4/25/2019: Study - Systems Analysis & Design ($70)
4/22/2019: Study - Discrete Math ($80)
4/15/2019: Study - Intro to Operation Systems ($80)
3/15/2019: Saylor - Introduction to Computer Science I ($25)
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#6
Well, there are a couple of possible use cases.

First, a handful of these courses do not have an EDU/EDUC prefix. These are the interesting ones. The biomolecular structure course that I took has the prefix BIOC and it is a graduate level class. I also just completed an NDSU ECON course that transcripts the same way. When I have transferred classes like this into TESU in the past, the courses get added to the transcript as upper level subject area credits. I already have two undergrad. degrees, so it doesn't matter to me in terms of a degree, but it could mean something to somebody. This is especially true in the sciences because there is not a lot of inexpensive upper level science out there.

The reason I took the class is because I have been building up credits in math and science so that I can add endorsements in those areas to my teaching certificate. Some states are pretty lax in terms of letting teachers teach whatever, but the better states require a certain number of upper level subject area credits. This class provides that.

These credits can also help a person achieve 18 subject area graduate credits to become qualified to teach dual enrollment and college classes. I already have 18 English graduate credits and the EDUC children's literature classes now could be great resume additions.

But at the end of the day, the best reason to take these NDSU classes and really any class is that it is a cool and interesting learning experience. Where else will someone get the chance to hang out for a week with world class scientists in their labs with meals and lodging included?
University of Michigan, 1997, BA Ed.; Teaching Cert.: English/Social Sciences
Marygrove College, 2003, MAT
TESU, 2018, BSBA: Accounting/CIS; ASNSM: Math/Comp. Sci.; Certs: Finance, Org. Lead., Ops. Man., Marketing
University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, 2018, Grad. Cert.: Economics Ed.; 18 Grad. Credits - Economics
Harvard University Extension, 2019, Complete: Poetry in America Series; 20 Grad. Credits - English
Reply
#7
(08-14-2019, 09:59 PM)eriehiker Wrote: Well, there are a couple of possible use cases.

First, a handful of these courses do not have an EDU/EDUC prefix.  These are the interesting ones.  The biomolecular structure course that I took has the prefix BIOC and it is a graduate level class.  I also just completed an NDSU ECON course that transcripts the same way.  When I have transferred classes like this into TESU in the past, the courses get added to the transcript as upper level subject area credits.  I already have two undergrad. degrees, so it doesn't matter to me in terms of a degree, but it could mean something to somebody.  This is especially true in the sciences because there is not a lot of inexpensive upper level science out there.

The reason I took the class is because I have been building up credits in math and science so that I can add endorsements in those areas to my teaching certificate.  Some states are pretty lax in terms of letting teachers teach whatever, but the better states require a certain number of upper level subject area credits.  This class provides that.

These credits can also help a person achieve 18 subject area graduate credits to become qualified to teach dual enrollment and college classes.  I already have 18 English graduate credits and the EDUC children's literature classes now could be great resume additions.

But at the end of the day, the best reason to take these NDSU classes and really any class is that it is a cool and interesting learning experience.  Where else will someone get the chance to hang out for a week with world class scientists in their labs with meals and lodging included?

That's one of the things I'm confused about. I would think that EDUC courses would transfer in as education courses, not English / literature.
Udi's Completed Courses (for credit)

7/01/2019: Study - Cybersecurity Policies and Management
6/27/2019: Study - Management Information Systems ($80)
6/23/2019: Study - Data Structures and Algorithms ($80)
6/18/2019: Study - Intro to Programming ($70)
6/11/2019: Study - Computer Architecture ($70)
6/07/2019: Study - Calculus ($80)
5/29/2019: Study - Computer Science 303: Database Management ($80)
4/25/2019: Study - Systems Analysis & Design ($70)
4/22/2019: Study - Discrete Math ($80)
4/15/2019: Study - Intro to Operation Systems ($80)
3/15/2019: Saylor - Introduction to Computer Science I ($25)
Reply
#8
Well, the EDUC courses would transfer in as education courses. No doubt about that. However, I already have enough English credits to teach dual enrollment/college classes. So an EDUC English class just adds to the range of subjects that I can prove I know about.
University of Michigan, 1997, BA Ed.; Teaching Cert.: English/Social Sciences
Marygrove College, 2003, MAT
TESU, 2018, BSBA: Accounting/CIS; ASNSM: Math/Comp. Sci.; Certs: Finance, Org. Lead., Ops. Man., Marketing
University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, 2018, Grad. Cert.: Economics Ed.; 18 Grad. Credits - Economics
Harvard University Extension, 2019, Complete: Poetry in America Series; 20 Grad. Credits - English
Reply
#9
Do you have to be a teacher to attend? It sounds like a good way to add a little UL Science to my degree plan, but I am not a teacher. NDSU has some expensive costs per credit (in my book) for regular courses.
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#10
Well, this year, the course had 3 students for ten spots. Next summer is the last year of the course and I think that the professors would be happy with any engaged learner at this point.
University of Michigan, 1997, BA Ed.; Teaching Cert.: English/Social Sciences
Marygrove College, 2003, MAT
TESU, 2018, BSBA: Accounting/CIS; ASNSM: Math/Comp. Sci.; Certs: Finance, Org. Lead., Ops. Man., Marketing
University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, 2018, Grad. Cert.: Economics Ed.; 18 Grad. Credits - Economics
Harvard University Extension, 2019, Complete: Poetry in America Series; 20 Grad. Credits - English
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