ACS Assessment Tool for Chemistry in Two-Year College Programs

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

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 previous users averaged 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 Office of Two-Year Colleges 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.


Enrollment for participation in the 2014 review cycle is closed. 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 Office of Two-Year Colleges for more information on the tool or participating in the review process.

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

Download Assessment

“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.”

Selected Sections

Use the following sections as a starting point to evaluate your program.

II. Institutional Environment
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III. Faculty and Staff
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VI. Infrastructure
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V. Curriculum
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VI. Original Scholarly Research and Related Activities
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VII. Development of Student Skills
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VIII. Student Mentoring and Advising
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XI. Self-Evaluation and Assessment
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X. Partnerships
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