ACS Assessment Tool for Chemistry in Two-Year College Programs

Note: the assessment tool is currently aligned with the 2009 edition of the ACS Guidelines for Chemistry in Two-Year College Programs. The tool is currently being revised to align with the recently-released 2015 edition of the Guidelines.

Look for the revised assessment tool in January 2016.

Two-year programs are under increasing pressure to perform self-assessments and document their outcomes. The ACS Assessement Tool for Chemistry in Two-Year College Programs is a resource to help your institution identify strengths and opportunities for growth in the context of the ACS Guidelines for Chemistry in Two-Year College Programs. The tool also provides a framework to develop a comprehensive portrait of chemistry and chemistry-based technology education at a given institution.*

Developed and tested by two-year college chemistry faculty, the assessment tool can assist with a variety of activities, including:

  • internal program or departmental review
  • strategic planning
  • background for funding requests
  • support for college accreditation

Registration for review of your assessment will be open January 12 through June 3 (see below). Submitting your assessment for review is completely optional, but it provides third-party feedback on strengths and potential areas for growth.

Tips for using the assessment tool

Here are some tips for getting the most out of this resource:

  1. Decide what you want to accomplish.
    The assessment tool compiles a broad range of information to suit a variety of goals. New goals may arise as you work, but having a goal in mind at the start will help you focus your efforts.
  2. Complete only those sections that help you with your goals.
    Not all sections of the assessment tool are applicable to all programs. You may skip those sections that do not support your goals.
  3. Share the tool internally.
    Users of the assessment tool have reported that collaborating with colleagues and administrators fosters rich discussion about the status and future of the program. Even those users who complete the assessment tool on their own have found great value in sharing the results with colleagues and administrators.
  4. Use the ACS Guidelines as a reference.
    The assessment tool is based on the ACS Guidelines for Chemistry in Two-Year College Programs. You may find it useful to refer to the Guidelines as you work.
  5. Work on one section at a time.
    With the exception of Section XII, the assessment tool sections can be completed in any order. Users of the tool have recommended starting with whichever section seems easiest, putting the tool aside for a day or two, then starting another section.
  6. Plan ahead.
    A number of factors affect how long it takes to complete the assessment tool, but users tend to average 15-25 hours. Plan accordingly.
  7. Be honest and complete.
    Any assessment is only as good as the information you put into it. Providing complete information and looking at it with an open mind will result in more robust results. Remember that the only people who will see the assessment report are those you share it with.
  8. Ask for help.
    If you need help at any time, email the ACS Undergraduate Programs Office at or call 1-800-227-5558, ext. 6108. Staff will be happy to answer any questions regarding the assessment tool.

ACS review of assessment reports (optional)

If you would like a second opinion of your self-analysis report, ACS offers an optional review process. Reports are reviewed by the Assessment Review Panel, a group of two-year college chemistry faculty with experience using the tool.

The Assessment Review Panel will:

  • review your report
  • compile a list of strengths
  • suggest opportunities for continued growth
  • identifiy resources that support two-year college chemistry education

Participants receive customized feedback based on the Assessment Review Panel review. They will also be able to seek in-depth assistance from panel members regarding completion of the assessment tool and implementation of their results.



  • January 12, 2015: Registration for participation in the 2015 review cycle opens.
  • June 3, 2015: Registration for the 2015 review cycle closes.
  • June 10, 2015: Orientation webinar is available for participants in the 2015 review cycle.
  • September 18, 2015: all assessments to be reviewed are due.

Participants in the 2015 review cycle can expect to receive their feedback in December 2015 or January 2016. Please contact the ACS Undergraduate Programs Office (1-800-227-5558, ext. 6108) with any questions about this or future review cycles.

Contact Us

Please contact the ACS Undergraduate Programs Office for more information on the tool or participating in the review process.

*The assessment tool is for self-evaluation purposes only. Institutions do not need to share their results with ACS, and ACS does not evaluate institutions based on the assessment tool.

It was quite easy to use and helped us… define what we wanted. We are now using it to present our needs to the administration backed with data that shows where our program is lacking.”


More Resources

Is there another resource you found useful?

Let us know! Email ACS Undergraduate Programs Office or call us at (800) 227-5558, ext. 6108.

Sample report

Wondering what a completed assessment could look like? Download this sample report.