2024-2025 Catalog

Natural and Physical Sciences (A.S)

Associate in Science

Program Advisor: Gina Foley

gfoley@berkshirecc.edu - 413-236-4522

The Natural & Physical Sciences AS degree program offers students meta-major type pathways in biology, biotechnology, chemistry, and physics. These pathways will allow students the ability to explore the sciences while staying aligned with their degree program, saving the student time and money and increasing overall degree attainment. All pathways will explore science as a way of knowing about the natural, physical, and technological worlds, highlighting the process of scientific inquiry. Understanding the fundamentals of scientific inquiry to study the natural world, through the use of a systematic approach, involving observation, testing, analysis of data and interpretation is essential for making personal and public policy decisions.

Expected Outcomes

A. Organize and integrate their knowledge and apply the fundamental concepts, theories, or laws of the discipline, thereby demonstrating their deeper comprehension of the topic.

B. Apply the scientific method and understand the relationships among observation, experimentation, evidence, conclusions, and theory in the natural and physical sciences.

C. Analyze and interpret data using scientific and mathematical methods and models to understand how the natural and physical world works.

D. Communicate effectively about science to a variety of audiences using the appropriate language and the tools of the discipline.

E. Discern between reliable and nonreliable sources

F. Appreciate the need for continued professional development and lifelong learning.

In addition to the NPS program outcomes for all NPS students, students are expected to meet pathway-specific learning outcomes.

 

Biology Pathway Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and application of basic biological principles both in writing and in oral presentation. 
  2. Describe living systems, including their nature, organization, and evolution. 
  3. Describe the flow of energy and matter within and among organisms. 
  4. Explain the basic human inheritance, cell cycle, DNA structure, replication, and expression of genes. 
  5. Practice safety and proper techniques in the laboratory such as microscopy, aseptic technique, pipetting, serial dilution, bacterial transformation, DNA extraction, and gel electrophoresis.  

Biotechnology Pathway Learning Outcomes 

  1. Understand relevant principles of cell biology, microbiology, and genetics as they relate to medical, agricultural, environmental, and chemical biotechnologies in both writing and oral presentation.
  2. Safely perform laboratory work and analyses with cells, proteins, and genes as they relate to biotechnology fields. 
  3. Follow good manufacturing practices (GMP) and good laboratory practices (GLP), such as working in groups and following laboratory protocols and procedures.
  4. Describe the concepts of workplace functions, write and follow standard operating procedures, and professional protocols as they relate to biotechnological operations.

Chemistry Pathway Learning Outcomes

  1. Understand the fundamental properties of atoms, molecules, and the various states of matter with an emphasis on the particulate nature of matter fundamental atomic structure and the periodicity of elements in the periodic table.
  2. Acquire the fundamentals of acid/base reactions, redox reactions, precipitation reactions, chemical reactions involve the flow of energy, current bonding models for simple inorganic and organic molecules in order to predict structures and important bonding parameters
  3. Safely perform common laboratory techniques including pH measurement, acid/base titrations, UV/Visible spectroscopy in both emission and absorption mode, calorimetry, and colorimetry.
  4. Understand the reactivity and stability of an organic molecule based on structure, including conformation and stereochemistry, the prediction of mechanisms for organic reactions, and how to use their understanding of organic mechanisms to predict the outcome of reactions.

Physics Pathway Learning Outcomes 

  1. Understand and apply Newton’s laws of motion, conservation principles, and basic thermodynamic principles to verbally and mathematically explain various physical situations within mechanics. 
  2. Acquire fundamental knowledge of electromagnetic theory, including principles of electrostatics, electrical circuits, light waves and optics.  Emphasis will be given to technological applications of these principles.
  3. Differentiate and quantify energy sources and the interaction between them. Emphasis is given to measuring and converting between unit systems in a diverse array of physical applications

 

 

 

Graduation Requirements

Program Courses

CHM-101Introductory Chemistry I

4

CHM-102Introductory Chemistry II

4

BIO-ENV-CHM-ENT-MAT-BIO-ENV-CHM-ENT-MAT electives (30)

30

* BIO/ENV/CHM/ENT/MAT electives*
Electives should be chosen from the following courses:

BIO-101, BIO-102, BIO-132, BIO-230, BIO-109, BIO-110, BIO-207, BIO-236
ENV-208, ENV-139
CHM-201, CHM-202
ENT-161, ENT-261, ENT-185, ENT-203, ENT-212, ENT-233, ENT-235
MAT-123, MAT-151, MAT-152, MAT-251, MAT-254, MAT-218, MAT-253

General Education Courses

-MAT elective requirement

4

ENG-English Composition/Writing

6

-Behavioral Sciences Electives

6

-Humanities & Fine Arts

6

Total Credit Hours: 60

Suggested Pathways

Chemistry Pathway

First Semester

CHM-101Introductory Chemistry I

4

BIO-101General Biology I

4

MAT-151Calculus I

4

ENG-101Composition I

3

-Or

ENG-103Honors Composition I

3

Second Semester

CHM-102Introductory Chemistry II

4

ENG-116Technical Writing

3

ENT-161Physics I: Mechanics

4

MAT-152Calculus II

4

Third Semester

CHM-201Organic Chemistry I

4

ENT-261Physics II: Electricity, Magnetism & Light

4

-Behavioral & Social Science

3

-Humanities & Fine Arts

3

-General Education Elective

3

Fourth Semester

CHM-202Organic Chemistry II

4

-Behavioral & Social Science

3

-General Education Elective

3

-Humanities & Fine Arts

3

Physics Pathway

First Semester

CHM-101Introductory Chemistry I

4

ENG-101Composition I

3

-Or

ENG-103Honors Composition I

3

MAT-151Calculus I

4

-Humanities & Fine Arts

3

Second Semester

CHM-102Introductory Chemistry II

4

ENG-116Technical Writing

3

ENT-161Physics I: Mechanics

4

MAT-152Calculus II

4

Third Semester

ENT-261Physics II: Electricity, Magnetism & Light

4

MAT-251Calculus III

4

-Behavioral & Social Science

3

-General Education Elective

3

Fourth Semester

MAT-254Differential Equations

3

-Behavioral & Social Science

3

-General Education Elective

3

-Humanities & Fine Arts

3

Biology Pathway

First Semester

BIO-101General Biology I

4

CHM-101Introductory Chemistry I

4

ENG-101Composition I

3

-Or

ENG-103Honors Composition I

3

-Humanities & Fine Arts

3

Second Semester

BIO-102General Biology II

4

CHM-102Introductory Chemistry II

4

ENG-116Technical Writing

3

MAT-121Precalculus

4

Third Semester

BIO-132Biological Laboratory Techniques

3

CHM-201Organic Chemistry I

4

MAT-123Elementary Statistics

3

-Behavioral & Social Science

3

-General Education Elective

3

Fourth Semester

CHM-202Organic Chemistry II

4

-Behavioral & Social Science

3

-General Education Elective

3

-Humanities & Fine Arts

3

Biotechnology Pathway

First Semester

BIO-101General Biology I

4

CHM-101Introductory Chemistry I

4

ENG-101Composition I

3

-Or

ENG-103Honors Composition I

3

-Humanities & Fine Arts

3

Second Semester

BIO-102General Biology II

4

CHM-102Introductory Chemistry II

4

ENG-116Technical Writing

3

MAT-121Precalculus

4

Third Semester

BIO-132Biological Laboratory Techniques

3

CHM-201Organic Chemistry I

4

-Behavioral & Social Science

3

-General Education Elective

3

-Humanities & Fine Arts

3

Fourth Semester

BIO-230Biotechnology

3

CHM-202Organic Chemistry II

4

-Behavioral & Social Science

3

-General Education Elective

3

Footnotes

Footnotes:

1. Chemistry Elective: Chemistry elective should be chosen from the following: MAT-254, Differential Equations; MAT-218, Probability and Statistics; or BIO-132, Biological Lab Techniques

2. English Composition: Students are strongly encouraged to select ENG-116, Technical Writing, as their second English Composition/Writing course.

3. Physics Electives: Physics electives should be chosen from the following: MAT-253, Linear Algebra; MAT-218, Probability and Statistics; ENT-185, Engineering Computer Applications; ENT-203, Linear Circuits; ENT-212, Statics; ENT-233, Digital Circuits; ENT-235, Microprocessors and Digital Circuits

4. Biology Electives: Electives must be chosen from the following: BIO-109, Ecology I; BIO-110, Ecology II; BIO-201, Anatomy and Physiology, BIO-207, Microbiology; BIO-230, Biotechnology, BIO-236, Evolution; ENV-208, Aquatic Biology; ENV-139, Tropical Ecosystems; ENT-161, Physics I; ENT-261, Physics II.

5. Biotechnology Electives: Electives must be chosen from the following: BIO-109, Ecology I; BIO-110, Ecology II; BIO-207, Microbiology; BIO-230, Biotechnology, BIO-236, Evolution; ENV-208, Aquatic Biology; ENV-139, Tropical Ecosystems; ENT-161, Physics I; ENT-261, Physics II.