Background

In addition to providing important foundational courses for numerous majors throughout campus, our lower-division courses educate the “next generation” of doctors, lawyers, business professionals, politicians, etc. about the importance and broad-reaching impact of chemistry. Additionally, these students learn important problem solving and critical thinking skills.  The Department maintains University-recognized level of high quality instruction in these courses (College-level awards for faculty in instruction, innovative solutions to addressing student success). We value student engagement in our classrooms which is an important contributor to student success. Additionally, the Department is a clear national leader in on-line (ECampus) Chemistry instruction (largest non-profit, for-credit program in Chemistry in the US). We teach the 3rd highest number of student credit hours (SCH) on campus. We are focused on improving student success and have developed processes to identify & work with at-risk students in foundational courses. We are active participants in the University's First-Year Experience program to implement a number of early-intervention activities with the intent of decreasing the DFW (the number of D, F and W grades divided by the number of grades given for a course) rate.

Ecampus

 

OSU’s Strategic Plan 3.0 focuses on student success and quality learning as well as targets a 60% increase in ECampus enrollment by 2018.  As the 3rd largest SCH generating unit on campus and the largest ECampus Chemistry program in the US, we will support excellence in curricular service through the following goals:

Curricular Service Goals

C1

Grow Chemistry ECampus program by 100% over next ten years and continue to be identified as the national leader in online chemistry education. 

C2

Continue to focus on student success and lower our course DFW rates.

C3

Further establish a community to encourage and support on-campus & on-line instructional innovations (e.g. use of technology, guided inquiry, collaborative/group learning, hybrid courses).

Departmental Commitments

  • Maintain visibility in on-line education via national seminars (3 per year), external grant proposals (1 major per year), and published student success data (2 in peer-reviewed journals per year) (Supports Goal C1).
  • Establish a Student Success Committee in Fall 2014 to focus on tracking and improving efforts in student success across all socioeconomic levels,  DFW rates, and associated innovations in instructional and assessment (Supports Goal C2).  
  • Request immediate additional resources to expand our Success in General Chemistry (CH 199) program to all 100-200 courses within 3 years (Supports Goal C1-C3).
  • Enforce math prerequisites for introductory courses to improve student success by Fall 2015 (Supports Goal C2).

Potential Investments

  • Institutional Investments: A more flexible, SCH-focused budget model would enable us to proactively address capacity-related issues for on-campus courses and better accommodate our GTA needs.  Targeted investments to help reduce teaching loads (particularly for junior faculty) would be enabling (Supports Goals C1-C3).
  • Infrastructure Investments:  We look forward to working with the University further to address the current conditions of Gilbert and Gilbert Addition to better accommodate lower division lectures and labs.  We have an immediate need to remodel Gilbert Addition Room 209 to address Organic Chemistry Lab (CH 337) capacity issues as well as Gilbert Hall Rooms 124 and 224, which have been submitted by OSU to the State for consideration (Supports Goals C1-C3).