Impac Chemistry Group Millbrae_ Jan 29_ 2005

Document Sample
Impac Chemistry Group Millbrae_ Jan 29_ 2005 Powered By Docstoc
					          Impac Chemistry Group Millbrae, Jan 29, 2005
          Notes (by HLS)

(Abma, Deanna             Articulation          City College of San Francisco

Ansell, Michael           Professor             Las Positas College   

Bourguignon, Gerard       Faculty               Marin, College of     

Branz, Stephen            Faculty               CSU San Jose          

Burns, Daniel             Professor             Sierra College        

Chamberlain, Ray          Chair                 Merritt College       

Frindell, Karen           Instructor            Santa Rosa Junior College

Hein, Claudia             Faculty               Diablo Valley College 

Hill, James               Chair                 CSU Sacramento        

Postma, James             Chair                 CSU Chico             

Richards, Margaret        Faculty               Las Positas College   

Sartori, Anthony (Tony)   Assistant Professor   Redwoods, College of the

Scharberg, Maureen        Director              CSU San Jose          

Smith, Leverett           Chair                 Contra Costa College  

Strauss, Herb             Lead Faculty          UC Berkeley           

Young Tish                Faculty               DVC                   

Deline, Kate              Professor             College of San Mateo  

Hong, Tamilyn             Professor             American River College

Paquette, David           Faculty               Las Positas College   

During the past month the various CSU chairs met in each discipline to implement
the LDTP (Lower division transfer project). Jim Postma, who is the chair of the
Chemistry LDTP group, summarized the decisions made by the chemists. The
LDTP follows on the POL (CSU Project on Lower-division Requirements in
Majors) program. The object of the LDPT is to define the minimum requirements
for students that transfer into a given major. Students who meet these
requirements will be given preference in admission to the CSU’s. The
requirements agreed upon were one year of calculus, one year of physics and
one year of chemistry. A less desirable possibility is one year of calculus and one
year of physics. The time to degree will be less for students who have taken the
physics and mathematics and not chemistry, rather than chemistry, but not
mathematics or physics. It is emphasized that this is a minimum and that
students who have decided on chemistry early in their community college career
should also take other courses such as an another term of calculus and some
organic chemistry. (The calculus course recommended is part of the CAN B
sequence )

This program has been approved by the Senates of each of the three segments,
but not yet considered by ICAS. It will likely pass and be implemented in the near
future. The SCIGETC program emphasizes the desirability of a science student to
start on the required science/math courses during their first term in college.

The Can Board last Summer accepted all of the Descriptors we proposed last
year. Included are the descriptors for organic chemistry. However, organic
chemistry is taught as an upper-division course in most of the CSU’s and most will
not accept the lower division versions taught at the CC’s as satisfying
requirements. (Some of the CSU’s and the UC’s will accept the CC courses, if the
student passes an exam or meets other requirements. Of course the lower
division units do not count towards the upper division units.) A major problem for
the CSU’s is training on instrumentation in the second semester of organic
chemistry laboratory – an issue that has been exhaustively discussed at IMPAC
meetings in previous years.
Resolution of this problem will probably have to be arranged between individual
campuses and, where there is consensus, formalized in the various articulation


Two different discussions concerned the question of standards in General
Chemistry. The first involves San Jose State University and its feeder Community
Colleges. The SJSU Chemistry Department holds a conference each year in
which the CC Chem departments are invited to participate. The CC’s are asked to
provide evidence of the competencies of the students who have taken their
General Chemistry courses. The idea is to provide the type of material that is
being asked for by WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the
accrediting agency for West Coast colleges). Some of the CC’s have complained
about the additional work involved. One the other hand, SJSU has found that their
student’s success varies with the outcomes of the CC Chemistry course he or she
had taken. SJSU uses the ACS General Chemistry examination to assess the
results of the course and expects that students score at least in the 50th
percentile (nationwide).

The perennial question of prerequisites to General Chemistry then arose. The
problem is that one the one hand, no one should be excluded from the course, but
on the other, many students who do not have the proper preparation, flunk. The
concern about excluding students has led many schools to require detailed and
onerous justification for any prerequisite.

A standard set of prerequisites is a year of high school chemistry, intermediate
(high school) algebra and English. (in many cases these are required for
admission to the school, so there is no need for separate perquisites for
chemistry). Many schools give the ACS examination - formerly known as the
California Diagnostic Test – and expect a score of at least 20 out of 44. This
exam may be given as advisory to the student – i.e. the students are presented
with their test score and also the information on flunk rates vs. score and told to
make up their own minds on whether to continue. A good solution to the
enrollment problems, both for the students and the Department is to run Prepatory
Chemistry sections at the same times as the GenChem ones, so that students
can switch into the PrepChem after classes start and they have learned their
exam scores.

It was pointed out that the more detailed requirements and tests are spelled out,
the more difficult to innovate in the curriculum. A partial solution to this problem is
to specify subjects and competencies in general blocks without specifying that
subjects be taken in a certain order or done in a certain way.


The amount of chemistry required for nursing programs continues to be
controversial. All the Chemistry IMPAC groups (both this group and previous
ones) would like to see the “one semester” course that is required by the second
semester of Chem sequence B. This implies preparation equivalent to the first
semester of this sequence. It was noted that although there still an acute
shortage of nurses, the number of students applying for nursing programs far
exceeds the capacity of the schools. (One reason for this is likely that the pay for
a nurse with Master’s Degree, say, is much higher than that for a nursing
instructor with the same credentials.) Some nursing programs do not specify a
chemistry requirement directly – however they do require microbiology, which in
turn has a chemistry requirement.

Analytical Chemistry (CAN Chem 12) has become problematical. The enrollment
has been dropping in many schools. However, Analytical Chemistry is often the
key to employment and is required by some of the allied health sciences. . The
course can also be used to capstone this chemistry experience at the Community
College level and is required by at least one school for entrance into organic
chemistry. The role of Can Chem 12 is clearly changing and the topic will have to