Chemistry Mission

Assessment Plan

Measure

American Chemical Society Exams

The American Chemical Society (ACS) produces standardized national exams. Participants will be all students in the following courses each of which has an associated subject-specific ACS Exam:

General Chemistry Fall, CHEM 160- 1st Semester General Chemistry
Spring, CHEM 160- 2nd Semester General Chemistry
ACS 1st-Term General Chemistry Exam
ACS General Chemistry Exam (2-semester content)
Organic Chemistry CHEM 361 - 2nd-Semester Organic Chemistry ACS Organic Chemistry Exam (2-semester content)
Analytical Chemistry CHEM 301 - Techniques of Chemical Analysis
CHEM 475 - Instrumental Analysis
ACS Analytical Chem. Exam
ACS Instrumental Analysis Exam

Each course instructor will administer the appropriate ACS standardized exam as the course final exam. The instructor will grade each student's exam, reporting the number of questions answered correctly along with the corresponding national percentile score provided by the ACS and based on score reports from colleges and universities nationwide, and turn this information in to the department chair, who will compile basic statistical information (high, low, average, median, and standard deviation) for each course. Instructors will store individual student answer sheet in case further evaluation is needed (see special cases below).

The benchmark criterion for successful achievement in the learning objectives is the following:

Student exam scores will average at or above the 50th percentile (the national average)

In the evaluation by the department faculty as a whole, particular attention will be given to the following cases:

Courses in which ACS exam scores fail to achieve the benchmark in three successive years. The department faculty may require that further statistical analysis of exam results be performed in order to determine appropriate modifications in course format, content, and/or content emphasis. This additional information may include (but is not limited to) the percentages of students scoring above the 75th national percentile and below the 25th national percentile, statistically valid trending of high, low, average, and median exam scores, and a correlation of exam question topics with course topics and subsequent compilation of student exam performance in each topic area. The department chair will coordinate any further exam analyses with assistance from course instructors as needed.

Courses in which ACS exam scores exceed the benchmark in three successive years. In such cases, the department faculty will examine the appropriateness of raising the benchmark score for the specific ACS exam involved. Additional statistical analyses of exam scores may be performed and include (but is not limited to) any statistically valid trending of high, low, average, and median exam scores and the percentages of students scoring above the 75th national percentile and below the 25th national percentile, statistically valid trending of high, low, average, and median exam scores.

Objective 

Participants 

Evaluators 

1.a-d 

all majors
General Studies students

all department faculty

Oral Presentation

The final oral presentations are given by all students enrolled in CHEM 469 (Chemistry Seminar). In the Chemistry Seminar course, students write a review paper based on selected chemical literature articles or a broad chemical topic. Students are expected to integrate concepts from multiple chemistry courses and utilize information from the recent literature. At the end of the semester, the students give oral presentations based on their review papers. All specific questions pertaining to the learning objectives are graded on a quantitative scale. These scores are compiled by the department chair, who disseminates the results to the department faculty for evaluation.

The benchmark criteria for successful achievement in the learning objectives are the following:

Minimum Proficiency for All Chemistry Graduates - The median evaluation question score for each student will be no lower than 3 points on the 5-point scale.

Desired Proficiency for Best-Performing Students -- The median evaluation question score for each student will be no lower than 4 points on the 5-point scale.

In the evaluation by the department faculty as a whole, particular attention will be given to the following case:

The median evaluation question score for any student is less than 3 points on the 5-point scale. Further analysis of the results will be undertaken to determine score averages for categories that relate to chemistry principle understanding and categories that pertain to oral communication elements. The CHEM 469 course structure and format will be reviewed and modified as appropriate to address specific deficiencies.

Objective 

Participants 

Evaluators 

2.a-c 

all majors

all department faculty
using Oral Presentation 

Graduate Assessment Survey

In their last semester at UNK, graduating senior chemistry majors will be administered the assessment survey by the department chair, who will compile the results and disseminate them to the rest of the department faculty. Each Spring, the department chair will mail the same surveys to chemistry graduates from four years before.

Results from returned completed surveys will be complied by the department chair, who will compile and disseminate them to the department faculty for evaluation.

The benchmark criteria for successful achievement in the learning objectives are the following:

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.

In the evaluation by the department faculty, particular attention will be given to the following cases:

Fewer than 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. This result will be correlated with score results from the question pertaining to the value of chemistry course content as preparation for students' chosen profession. If the value scores for the course(s) most closely related to the students' chosen professions are low, the content of the course(s) will be reviewed and modified as appropriate to better accommodate professional needs.

Any scores for questions pertaining to the value of chemistry course content in the graduates' learning of chemistry being less than 3 (on the 5-point scale). This result will be correlated to the ACS standardized test scores in the course(s) involved. If these do not meet the department assessment benchmark, the content of the course(s) will be reviewed and modified as appropriate to better accommodate department curriculum and student needs.

Any 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?" - being less than least 3 (on the 5-point scale). This result will be correlated to value scores for individual chemistry learning activities and resources. Those with scores below 3 will be reviewed, and modifications in activity format and policy will be considered.

Average value-question scores from surveys received from 4-year alumni being less than the average from the surveys they had completed just before graduation. This result will be correlated to value scores from the rest of the survey. Low results in specific areas will be reviewed as described above.

Objective 

Participants 

Evaluators 

3.a-e 

graduating seniors and chemistry alumni 4 years after graduation, using UNK Department of Chemistry Graduate Assessment Survey 

all department faculty