Submitted Fall, 2003
-- Chemistry graduates will have the necessary skills and knowledge to acquire entry-level positions in the field (including industry and high school teaching) or for admission to their graduate or professional schools of choice.
-- Chemistry graduates will value how their education enables them to make more informed assessments of and take actions on chemistry-related health and environmental issues.
All of the above learning objectives were measured using surveys of graduating seniors The survey was developed by the UNK Department of Chemistry
- At least 75% of chemistry graduates who choose to pursue a chemistry-related profession will acquire employment with the company of their choice or gain admission to the graduate or professional school of their choice
- All scores for questions pertaining to the value of chemistry course content and course activities/resources in the graduates' learning of chemistry will be at least 3 (on the 5-point scale).
- All scores for questions pertaining to the recommendation of attending UNK and being a chemistry major - "If you were starting your college career over, would you attend UNK?" and if so, ". . . would you be a chemistry major?" - will be at least 3 (on the 5-point scale).
- Average value-question scores from surveys received from 4-year alumni will be at or above the average from the surveys they had completed just before graduation.
While 6 out of 7 survey respondents (83%) gained employment or admission in their chosen field, only 4 (57%) gained employment or admission in the school or company of their choice - fails to meet benchmark criterion.
Out of the three graduates who did not gain employment or admission in their preferred company or school, two hold industry positions in the area of analytical chemistry, and one is in graduate school in biochemistry. These three graduates rated the value of courses most closely related to their chosen profession at an average of 4.33 out of 5 points. This indicates that the graduates did not perceive that inadequate chemistry course preparation prevented hiring or admission by the company or school or their choice.
On questions pertaining to the value of chemistry course content, course activities/resources, and recommendation of attending UNK and being a chemistry major, most ratings were very positive, but the following scores below 3 (out of the 5-point scale) were noted:
Rating for Preparation for Profession
General Chemistry (1 response below 3 pts.)
Biochemistry (2 responses below 3 pts.)
Rating for Enhancing Understanding of Chemistry as a Discipline
General Chemistry (1 response below 3 pts.)
Biochemistry (1 response below 3 pts.)
Rating for Enhancing Informed Decision-Making on Health/Environmental Issues
General Chemistry (2 responses below 3 pts.)
Rating for Value of Department Resource or Activity
ACS Student Affiliate - or Chemistry Club (2 responses below 3 pts.)
"Would You Attend UNK Again?" - 1 response below 3 pts.
"Would You Major in Chemistry Again?" - 1 response below 3 pts.
General Chemistry. The 2002-03 graduates took CHEM 161 in the Spring of 1998, 1999 or 2000. Standardized ACS final exams scores from these semesters averaged in the 31st, 42nd and 31st national percentiles, respectively. While a link between teaching effectiveness and the low student value responses may be proposed, it is important to point out that three of the four sub-benchmark responses came from a student who received a C+ grade in the course and graduated with a 2.76 GPA. It is likely that the sub-benchmark responses represent an individual satisfaction instead of a systemic problem. This coupled with the most recent CHEM 161 ACS exam average in the 49th percentile indicates that extensive modifications in the General Chemistry curriculum are not warranted at this time.
Biochemistry. The three sub-benchmark responses came from two graduates - one pursuing a career in analytical chemistry (industry) and the other in materials chemistry (graduate school). It is likely that the sub-benchmark scores come from individual dissatisfaction or relevance to individual career choices. The need for extensive modifications in the Biochemistry curriculum is not indicated.
Recommendation for attending UNK and majoring in Chemistry. One of the seven graduates gave sub-benchmark responses to these two questions, but he followed in the comments sections with several complements about the department and faculty. His personal situation would have him attending college out of state if he were starting over.