ACS Guidelines for Chemistry in Two-Year College Programs

The ACS Guidelines for Chemistry in Two-Year College Programs provide a comprehensive framework for reviewing chemistry programs, identifying areas of strength and opportunities for change, and leveraging support from institutions, partners, and external agencies.

Developed by the Society Committee on Education, these guidelines are based on chemical education research, effective practices, and ACS policies. They are intended for any two-year program that teaches chemistry or chemistry-based technology.

Why use the Guidelines?  

Implementing the Guidelines can help programs and institutions:

  • Align their missions
  • Meet the needs of a diverse student body
  • Support the institution and the community
  • Articulate with programs to which students transfer
  • Compare to programs of recognized quality

Because chemistry-based education varies widely, colleges are encouraged to focus only on the sections of the Guidelines most relevant to their needs.

What's new in the the Guidelines?

The most recent Guidelines were published in 2023. Overarching changes to the guidelines include:

  • Language specifically addressing the needs of the types of chemistry education noted above
  • A separate section for Safety and for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Respect (DEIR)
  • Restructuring the guidelines into three categories 
    • Essential Components:  This section includes the basic requirements for any 2-year college chemistry program, for students wishing to transfer and for students earning an Associate’s Degree.
    • Successful Practices:  Suggested practices to enhance research and teaching capabilities, foster a sense of continual improvement for the program, and promote the success of students, faculty, and staff. 
    • Aspirational Goals:  These are guidelines that promote innovation across the program. These overarching objectives can be used to advance the program’s mission and make significant contributions to educating the next generation of students. 

Events & Opportunities

Virtual Listening Session

Join members of the two-year college community in a virtual discussion to share ideas, best practices, and to let us know how ACS can help you.

Look for another session this spring!

Safely Managing & Storing Chemicals

An opportunity to chat with members of the ACS division of Chemical Health and Safety (CHAS).  An open forum for you to get your safety questions answered.

Next session TBA.

Prepare CTP SEED Grant

To support partnership building at community colleges and similar two-year degree-granting institutions, focusing on preparing skilled technical workers (STW) in the chemical enterprise, termed chemical technical professionals (CTPs).

Learn More and Apply

Exploring Resources


Case Studies

Learn how the Guidelines have been implemented at 12 colleges.

Assessment Tool

Use this tool to assess chemistry and chemistry-based technology education within the context of the Guidelines.

We Want to Hear from You!

How have you used the two year college guidelines? How have they helped? What can be improved?

What other offerings can ACS provide to faculty at two-year colleges?  Send us your suggestions for new programming