Effective chemistry education requires a substantial institutional commitment to an environment that supports long-term excellence. Existing within the context of the institutional mission, a two-year college chemistry program must support the needs, career goals, and interests of the institution’s students. In order to support viable and sustainable chemistry-based education, the institutional environment must provide and develop the following attributes.
The institution must be accredited by the regional accrediting body. Such accreditation ensures broad institutional support in areas such as mathematics, related sciences, and the humanities. During institutional reviews, these guidelines should be consulted as part of self-studies and shared with the accrediting bodies.
The administration of the program must reside in an appropriate department that includes full-time faculty members with advanced chemistry degrees. The department must have an adequate budget and significant influence over faculty selection and promotion, curriculum development, and assignment of teaching responsibilities. Departmental input regarding allotment of office, classroom, laboratory, and other spaces must be solicited. If part of a larger unit, the chemistry faculty must have substantive autonomy over the functions relating to the chemistry courses.
The institution must support faculty efforts to develop high-quality instructional programs. The institution’s policies regarding salaries, teaching loads, promotions, tenure and/or continuing contracts, leave policies (including sabbaticals), and hiring practices must be developed with faculty input, encourage improved faculty morale, and serve to attract and retain high-quality chemistry faculty members. Recognition programs should be in place to foster and reward significant contributions and innovations by faculty, as a group or individually.