Introductory biology courses for nontraditional students launching at CSU Spur

plant biologist looking through microscope

Each semester at Colorado State University, hundreds of students file into large lecture halls for introductory biology courses, which are among the most popular across the university and are required for close to 20 science majors.

Now, those same biology courses will be available to more learners from all walks of life. This fall, the Department of Biology will roll out its first offerings of LIFE 102 and LIFE 103 biology courses, which will be based both online and in-person at CSU’s new Spur campus in Denver. The first courses available to students will launch in fall 2023.

Designed with nontraditional learners in mind, the program entails online, self-paced lectures provided through multiple mediums so students can choose learning styles to fit their needs. Four times a semester, students will also complete live laboratory activities and experiments with their classmates at CSU Spur’s state-of-the-art Hydro building.

“We are seeking to increase accessibility and inclusivity of biological education in our communities,” said Zoe D’Agostino, co-coordinator and instructor in the Spur-based LIFE Biology programs. “We are targeting students that are maybe working professionals coming back to their educations, or maybe they’re full-time parents looking for educational options. It’s a very wide net.”

The courses were designed based on results from a survey of more than 100 students in the Denver, Fort Collins and surrounding areas.

LIFE Biology courses at CSU Spur hold the same academic rigor and standing as the Fort Collins-based courses. They are designated All-University Core Curriculum (AUCC), meaning they can be used to cover the biological science requirement for a large number of science majors, including the biology major.

The two course offerings available this fall semester:

  • LIFE 102: Attributes of Living Systems
  • LIFE 103: Biology of Organisms

Registration for both courses closes Aug. 20.

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