CiHS Course Descriptions
CiHS Course Descriptions
Pacific Crest Innovation Academy uses curriculum aligned with partner college courses and Washington State learning standards. As the host district for PCIA, Mill A School District works closely with Lower Columbia College (LCC) and Columbia Gorge Community College (CGCC), to ensure that our core sophomore, junior, and senior year courses qualify for College in the High School (CiHS) credit.
High school and CiHS classes are integrated, enabling every qualifying student an opportunity to earn dual high school and college credit based on achievement. By giving students agency and ownership over their learning, guided by a coherent and rigorous set of educational goals, we help students learn to maximize the use of their time to accelerate learning and increase their success.
Each CiHS class uses the same objectives and textbook(s) as its corresponding LCC or CGCC course. While LCC and CGCC classes cover their material on a quarterly basis, PCIA classes cover the same material over the course of a full semester, which provides students with additional time and support to master the material.
PCIA also offers critical technology skills education, like Microsoft Imagine Academy, through which students can earn official Microsoft Certifications, giving them a competitive employment advantage over their peers when they graduate. We also offer an international, student-designed robotics program (FTC) that is aligned with state standards. Student teams may partner with regional business engineers for mentorship to support development of technical and interpersonal skills.
Courses descriptions are sourced from the LCC course catalog. See below for the extensive list of CiHS courses we offer:
STEM Course Descriptions
Biology 100 (5 credits): Survey of Biology
Examines major concepts in biology — the science of life– and the nature of science itself and includes a survey of fundamental life processes by which organisms live, grow, reproduce, and interact with their environment. Laboratory is included.
Biology 130 (5 credits): Biodiversity of the Pacific Northwest
Introduces biological diversity of the major ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest (e.g. forest, riparian, wetland, estuary, and marine intertidal). Surveys common organisms of these ecosystems and students will learn fundamental biological principles as they relate to biodiversity (e.g. ecology, evolution, genetics) and the importance to human well-being, as well as the intrinsic value of biodiversity at three levels: genetic, species, and ecosystems. Students will learn methods in the lab and field for surveying, identifying, and measuring biodiversity. Students will complete original research on a group and/or ecosystem of their choice. Class will meet often outdoors and three day-long Saturday field trip(s) are required.
Prerequisite: ENGL& 101 or instructor permission
Earth Science 105 (5 credits): Earth Systems
Presents a holistic view of Earth (our environments) as a system with emphasis on understanding the relationships of humans, atmosphere, hydrosphere, solid Earth, and biosphere. Major concepts are drawn from astronomy, meteorology, oceanography, geography, geology, biology, and ecology. Human’s part, effects, and relationships within the global ecosystem and Earth Systems are analyzed, as well as our dependence and interconnections with natural resources. Includes lab.
Environmental Science 150 (5 credits): Environment & Society
Introduces the interdisciplinary field of environmental science with an emphasis on the disproportionate impacts environmental problems have on human societies, especially low-income and minority groups. Major concepts include ecology, biodiversity, natural resources, toxicology, population, climate change, and environmental justice. Explores current environmental problems and solutions through case studies set in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and North America.
OCEA 101 (5 credits): Intro to Oceanography
Emphasizes principles and processes governing the ocean and its interactions with the surrounding physical environment. Covers topics from physical, chemical, biological and geological oceanography, including origin and evolution of the ocean basins, seafloor sediments, seawater, currents, waves, tides, marine life, and human impacts. Laboratory involves use of globes, charts, and graphs, sediment and biological samples. A field trip may be required.
Technology & Engineering
Information Technology 100 (5 credits): IT Fundamentals
Develops the knowledge to identify and explain basic computer components, set up a basic workstation, conduct basic software installation, establish basic network connectivity, identify compatibility issues and identify/prevent basic security risks. This course will also focus on the areas of safety and preventative maintenance of computers and is intended for students who are considering a career in IT and later considering the pursuit of a Comptia A+ or similar certification.
Information Technology 102 (5 credits): Introduction to Internet Theory, Application, and Web Page Design
Offers concepts, fundamentals, and techniques of web page design, and introduction to Internet networking principles. Topics include web page usability, design principles and development, site planning, and implementation. (X)HTML scripting language and Cascading Style Sheets are used to create structural and presentational web pages. Students will use concepts presented in the course for development of personal and commercial web pages. Prerequisite: IT 100 with a grade of C or better, or instructor permission.
Information Technology 104 (5 credits): Intermediate Web Page Design
Continuation of Web Page Design using client and server side scripted/programming languages and dynamic page coding to extend design capabilities and Web Site effectiveness. Methods introduced include browser control, security related issues, and Web Page structural/presentational control using these languages.
Prerequisite: IT 102 (was CS 102), or equivalent, or instructor permission.
MTH 141 (5 credits): Pre-Calculus I
Reviews basic algebraic operations, equations, inequalities, and operations on functions. Analyzes and graphs polynomial, rational, exponential, and logarithmic functions. This is the first course in a two course sequence leading to calculus.
Prerequisites: Math placement test or Algebra II with a C grade or better.
MTH 142 (5 credits): Pre-Calculus II
Covers concepts, properties and algebra of trigonometric functions, including their graphs, inverses, law of sines and cosines, identities, and equations. Introduces parametric and polar coordinates and vector operations. This is the second course in a two course sequence leading to calculus.
Prerequisites: Placement score or MATH 141 with a C grade or better.
MTH 146 (5 credits): Introduction to Statistics
Introduces descriptive statistics, probability, and inferential statistical methods. Topics include probability distributions, sampling techniques, measures of central tendency and dispersion, correlation, regression, and statistical inference.
Prerequisites: Algebra II with a grade of C or better
MTH 151 (5 credits): Calculus I
Investigates the ideas of continuity and limit, introduces the derivative as a limit, practices techniques for computing derivatives of functions, discusses the mean value theorem and its significance, utilizes these concepts to solve problems involving related rates and extreme values.
Prerequisites: MATH 142 with a grade of C or better.
Arts & Humanities Course Descriptions
Art 231 (3 credits): Drawing I
Covers basic perceptual drawing techniques and tools as well as the understanding of the language of drawing in historical and contemporary contexts. Develops critical skills for sighting, measuring, designing and constructing in drawing.
Art 232 (2 credits): Drawing II-Studio
Deepens basic drawing skills explored in ART 230 to encourage the development of individual style. Reinforces the conceptual framework for critical analysis along with basic art theory.
Prerequisite: ART 230
Art 269 (3 credits): Printmaking I
Explores printmaking processes, techniques, and concepts while addressing historical and contemporary issues. Develops creative problem solving by utilizing monoprints, relief and basic intaglio processes. Includes critiques, discussions, and presentations to establish critical skills necessary to evaluate prints, explore artistic intent, examine aesthetic and structural solutions, and expand perceptual awareness.
Art 280 (3 credits): Painting Basics
Introduces basic perceptual painting techniques and tools as well as the understanding of the language of painting in historical and contemporary contexts. Draws on the rich cultural diversity that exists in the field as a vehicle for developing personal self-expression. Develops critical skills for composing and synchronizing both tonal and color temperature scales to achieve a successful painting.
Communications Studies 220 (5 credits): Public Speaking
Examines the planning, development, and delivery of informative and persuasive speeches. Emphasis is given to effective structure and support of ideas, establishing credibility, audience analysis, language use, speaker anxiety, verbal and nonverbal presentation skills, and listening. Self-critiques are also stressed.
College & Career Guidance 101 (1 credit): College Survival & Success
Provides information and techniques for personal responsibility as a means for creating college success. Introduces developing skills for navigating a culturally diverse learning environment and utilizing college resources and services.
English 101 (5 credits): English Composition I
Introduces first-year college writing skills including thesis discovery, development, support, organization, sentence correctness, diction, style, formal academic documentation and final editing to compose claim-driven essays. Emphasizes analytical reading and the writing
of analysis, synthesis, and argument essays. Part one of the composition sequence.
Prerequisites: College level reading and writing skills or completion of ENGL 97 and 98 with a grade C or better.
English 102 (5 credits): English Composition II
Develops first-year college writing skills to compose claim-driven writing, including an 8-12 page researched argument essays. Emphasizes inquiry and research; synthesis and analysis; argumentation and reasoning; integration and documentation of evidence; and sentence correctness, diction, and style. Part two of the composition sequence.
Prerequisites: ENG 101 with a grade of C or better.
English 244 (5 credits): American Literature
Presents the context for works of American literature and studies major works by authors such as Melville, Dickinson, and Hemingway. Explores the major forms and movements in American literature.
Prerequisite: ENGL& 101 or instructor permission
English 280 (5 credits): Multicultural Literature
Provides students with an introduction to multicultural literature. Emphasis is placed on increasing awareness and understanding of the values, beliefs, and experiences of people from different cultures, especially those of Asia, Latin America and Africa.
Prerequisite: ENGL& 101 with a grade of C or better or instructor permission.
SPA 1A & 1B (15 credits): Spanish 121 & Spanish 122 (1A)/Spanish 122 & Spanish 123 (1B)
121: Introduces Spanish, emphasizing basic vocabulary and points of language. Aiming at self-expression and literacy, this course engages students in reading, writing, listening, and speaking in the target language. Students will also acquire knowledge of the diverse social, ethnic, and cultural groups that use the language and observe how artistic expression reflects the diversity of cultural values.
122: Provides continuation of basic principles offered in SPAN& 121, accumulates vocabulary, reinforces basic grammar, and increases fluency. Aiming at self-expression and literacy, this course engages students in reading, writing, listening, and speaking in the target language. Students will also acquire knowledge of the diverse social, ethnic, and cultural groups that use the language and observe how artistic expression reflects the diversity of cultural values.
123: Provides further development of basic skills, accumulates vocabulary, reinforces basic grammar, introduces new grammatical principles, and increases fluency. Aiming at self-expression and literacy, this course engages students in reading, writing, listening, and speaking in the target language. Students will also acquire knowledge of the diverse social, ethnic, and cultural groups that use the language and observe how artistic expression reflects the diversity of cultural values.
SPA 2A & 2B (15 credits): Spanish 221 & Spanish 222 (2A)/Spanish 222 & Spanish 223 (2B)
221: Provides an intensive review of vocabulary and basic points of language included in the first year, introduces new points, develops communication problem solving skills, and builds an extensive vocabulary pertinent to contemporary social and cultural issues.
222: Continues to build communication skills, accumulate vocabulary, and increase fluency, with added emphasis on literacy.
223: Continues to build communication skills, accumulate vocabulary, and increase fluency, with added emphasis on literacy.
History & Government
History 126 (5 credits): World Civilizations I
Focuses on the origins, development, and features of various societies in the ancient and classical world, including the peoples of Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas, and Oceania. This course examines the political, social, and cultural contours of particular societies and the interactions and relationships among people of different historical cultures.
History 127 (5 credits): World Civilizations II
Examines the dramatic changes in world history in the pre-modern and early modern period (1500-1800), a time of profound and unprecedented transformations in many societies around the world. Historical topics include: the development of new economic systems such as mercantile capitalism; large-scale interactions such as the Columbian exchange; scientific, philosophical, and political revolutions; and new global relationships such as colonialism. Attention will be payed to the increasing interdependence of Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas, and Oceania.
History 136 (5 credits): US History I
Focuses on the causes and effects of social, cultural, political, intellectual and economic change, from the colonial period to the end of the Civil War. Attention will also be given to the events outside North America that contributed to the emergence of the United States.
POLSCI 202 (5 credits): American Government
Studies the structure practices and interactions of the political and governmental institutions of the United States, evaluating them from multiple theoretical perspectives.
Prerequisite: ENG 101
POLSCI 220 (5 credits): Law and Social Issues
Examines the interrelationships between law and social structures, processes, evolution and changes in society and laws. Explores lines drawn by democracies in the attempt to reconcile individual freedoms with the rights of the community. Analyzes and evaluates issues with basic rights and liberties, freedom of expression, due process of law, and political, social and racial equality.
Health & Physical Education 295 (3 credits): Health & Fitness for Life
Explores the interrelationship of the five components of physical fitness, basic nutrition concepts, and stress management activities to increase individual health and wellness. Includes lab sessions, fitness assessments, and fitness program development.