ACS Assessment Tool for Chemistry in Two-Year College Programs
The ACS Assessment Tool for Chemistry in Two-Year College Programs is a resource to help your institution evaluate the strengths and opportunities for growth in:
- Chemistry transfer programs
- Chemistry-based technology programs
- Chemistry courses offered in support of allied programs
The assessment tool provides a framework to develop a comprehensive portrait of education within the context of the ACS Guidelines for Chemistry in Two-Year College Programs.*
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
Assessments may be submitted for ACS review (see below). Submitting your assessment for review is completely optional, but it provides third-party feedback on strengths and potential areas for growth.
Want to look at just one aspect of chemistry-based education? Use the following sections of the assessment tool to evaluate specific areas.
Tips for using the assessment tool
Here are some tips for getting the most out of this resource:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Plan ahead.
A number of factors affect how long it takes to complete the assessment tool, but plan to spend 25-35 hours working on it. Plan accordingly.
- 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.
- Ask for help.
If you need help at any time, email the ACS Undergraduate Programs Office at 2YColleges@acs.org 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)
Registration is open for the optional 2016 review process. The review process guides you through effective completion of the assessment tool and evaluation of the results.
Reports are reviewed by the Assessment Review Panel, a group of two-year college chemistry faculty with experience using the tool. The panel provides support for partipants in the review process and feeback on strengths, opportunities for continued growth, and useful resources.
Participants in the review process receive:
- Customized feedback based on the Assessment Review Panel review
- Aggregate summary of notable practices gleaned from all assessment reports
- Toolkit for sharing results with administration
Participants will also be able to seek in-depth assistance from panel members regarding completion of the assessment tool and implementation of their results.
- April 18, 2016: Registration for the 2016 review cycle closes.
- April 21, 2016: Orientation webinar is available for participants in the 2016 review cycle.
- May 30, 2016: Single section of assessment due for initial feedback
- September 12, 2016: All assessments to be reviewed are due.
Participants in the 2016 review cycle can expect to receive their feedback in December 2016 or January 2015. Please contact the ACS Undergraduate Programs Office (1-800-227-5558, ext. 6108) with any questions about this or future review cycles.
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.”
- Case studies on use of the Guidelines
Examples of how some institutions have used the Guidelines
- Chemical Education in Two-Year Colleges
Resources and information to support two-year college programs, faculty, and students
Is there another resource you found useful?
Let us know! Email ACS Undergraduate Programs Office or call us at (800) 227-5558, ext. 6108.