Chemistry Program Receives Approval by ACS
June 01, 2011
The University of Mount Union’s chemistry program has been formally approved by the American Chemical Society (ACS).
Approval is awarded only after completion of a self-study, critical review of the program and on-site visits by ACS. A member of the Committee on Professional Training of the ACS visited campus in September of 2010 and evaluated Mount Union’s chemistry curriculum, instrumentation, computational capabilities and software, laboratories, undergraduate research opportunities and faculty, among other areas.
“The chemistry program at Mount Union has always been designed around the curriculum recommended by the American Chemical Society,” said Dr. Jeffrey Draves, chair of the Department of Chemistry, professor of chemistry and co-director of environmental science. “In recent years, it has become clear that the awarding of a certified degree allows graduates more and better opportunities, and this has been our driving force behind our efforts to secure approval of our program.”
There are tremendous benefits to having an ACS-approved chemistry program. In fact, according to the ACS’ website (www.acs.org), ACS-approved programs offer a broad-based and rigorous chemistry education that gives students intellectual, experimental and communication skills to become effective scientific professionals. Institutions with an ACS-approved chemistry program attract top high school students looking for established and rigorous departments. Approved departments are also staffed by accomplished faculty, contain a modern and well-maintained infrastructure as well as provide a coherent chemistry curriculum. Employers look for graduates of approved programs because they are better prepared for technical employment.
Aside from traditional textbook learning, students majoring in chemistry or biochemistry at Mount Union have ample opportunities to get “real-world” experience outside of the classroom. Experiential and problem-based learning involving sophisticated instrumentation forms the cornerstone of the curriculum. By getting students involved in undergraduate research, laboratory projects, extracurricular opportunities and field experiences, students strengthen and expand their skills. These opportunities give students chances to put classroom knowledge to work, and they gain this valuable experience as early as their freshman year.
Mount Union’s chemistry and biochemistry graduates have found success working for organizations including McGean-Rohco, Amgen, The Scripps Research Institute, Steptoe and Johnson and Sherwin-Williams. Students have also pursued graduate studies at institutions across the country including Carnegie Mellon University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Pennsylvania State University. In addition, majors have also pursed health related careers in medicine, dentistry, physician assistant studies, and pharmacy at institutions like The Ohio State University, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and the University of Mount Union, to name a few.
ACS approval is not granted for any defined period of time, but all schools approved by the ACS are required to report annually on the degrees granted, chemistry faculty and course offerings, and to prepare a more extensive reevaluation report every five years.
For more information about Mount Union’s program in chemistry, visit www.mountunion.edu/chemistry.