BS Chemistry at USF Student Learning Assurance Plan

Chemistry Department Mission Statement:

The Mission of the Undergraduate Chemistry Program at the University of San Francisco is to deliver a broad-based and challenging chemistry experience that will train students for graduate school in science or as professionals in a variety of health, government or private industry positions. The program will foster a culture that values our students, faculty and staff; strives to help students become self-learners; creates opportunities for students to discover the excitement and creativity of research, and promotes an understanding that social consciousness and ethical behavior are essential features of a principled chemistry community.

BS Program Student Learning Goals:

• To offer a coherent program of course work in the core areas of chemistry and biochemistry that provides a modern foundation for subsequent in-depth course work or research experiences.
• To challenge student teams with hands-on laboratory and computational experiences, using modern, sophisticated instrumentation supported by qualified staff that encourages students to extend their chemical understanding by application of the scientific method.
• To emphasize the accumulation, retention and transfer of scientific concepts and skills throughout a curriculum in which faculty members accommodate a variety of learning styles and use personalized feedback to help students become responsible problem solvers and self-learners.
• To foster a community of chemists that values the excitement and discovery inherent in teaching, learning and researching all the areas of chemistry and biochemistry.
• To help students attain the professional skills necessary to succeed in their chosen careers, including an appreciation for safe, ethical and socially conscious behavior.

BS Chemistry Program Learning Outcomes (LO):

LO #1: Students will demonstrate their mastery of the four principle core disciplines: analytical, organic, physical, and inorganic chemistry
LO #2: Students will recognize and understand the concepts and skills learned in prerequisite courses at or before the start of the new course or laboratory
LO #3: Students or student teams will demonstrate mastery in problem solving by performing a broad variety of analytical, computational and synthetic procedures, using proper safety protocols, and will critically evaluate the results
LO #4: Students will demonstrate effective scientific communications skills in both written and oral form. Students will be able to write reports and present results while following professional policies regarding intellectual property, plagiarism, and ethical group work.
LO #5: Students will apply their experience and knowledge of the discipline in the successful conduct of at least 80 hours of in-depth work via undergraduate research, experimental biochemistry, integrated lab or chemistry electives.

BS Program Student Learning Rubrics and Methods of Measurement (Plan)

LO #1: Students will demonstrate their mastery of the four principle disciplines: analytical, organic, physical, and inorganic chemistry.
Direct measurements
• Nationally Normalized American Chemical Society (ACS) exams in Chem 113, 260, 420: Benchmark is the National Median (varies by exam).
• Embedded final exam questions: Chem 230/231 and 340 (benchmark > 60% correct). For Chem 350/351 (test of concepts during 350 and again in 351: Benchmark: 70% correct)

LO #2: Students will recognize and understand the concepts and skills learned in prerequisite courses at or before the start of the new course or laboratory
Direct measurements
• Required test of concepts at the beginning of the course with retest 2-3 weeks into the course: Benchmark established by instructor is generally pre-test: 60% or above and retake/post-test (generally >80% correct).

LO #3: Students or student teams will demonstrate mastery in problem solving by performing a broad variety of analytical, computational and synthetic procedures using proper safety protocols, and will critically evaluate the results
Direct measurements
• Lab practical assessment activities scored by rubric. Benchmark 65% or above.
• Laboratory safety map and quiz: Benchmark 90% or higher.

LO #4: Students will demonstrate effective scientific communications skills in both written and oral form. Students will be able to write reports and present results while following professional policies regarding intellectual property, plagiarism, and group work
Direct measurements
• Poster presentation rubric: Benchmark: “Meeting Standard” in 8 out of 10 categories.
• Oral presentation rubric: Benchmark: average of 3 over ten categories (scale of 1-4)
• Standardized Professional Lab Report format adopted in lower division courses: Benchmark 65%

LO #5: Students will apply their experience and knowledge of the discipline in the successful conduct of at least 80 hours of additional work via undergraduate research, experimental biochemistry, integrated lab or chemistry electives
Direct measurements
• Capstone project presentation or progress report: Presentation at regional, national or departmental meeting: Poster presentation rubric: Benchmark: “Meeting Standard”
Indirect measurements
• Tracking hours, presentations, reports
• Student Assessment of Learning Gains (SALG) exit survey