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March 2008

Release Date: March 4, 2008

ASU Chemistry Prof Receives Grant to Redesign Classes

Dr. David Carter, assistant professor of chemistry at Angelo State University, has been awarded a $145,503 grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to redesign the curriculum of the university’s introductory chemistry classes.

The two-year grant is awarded through the THECB’s Texas Course Redesign Project (TCRP). The money will fund Dr. Carter’s new program, titled “Closing the Gap in CHEM 1411 Using Concept Gateways and IT Enhanced Active Learning.”

CHEM 1411 and CHEM 1412, collectively referred to as General Chemistry, are the introductory chemistry courses designed for science majors. These courses characteristically have high attrition rates nationwide and are sometimes referred to as “gateway” or “barrier” courses because they often prevent or retard students’ ability to obtain degrees in many of the science and technology areas that are so crucial to the competitiveness of Texas and the nation. Carter’s program will redesign CHEM 1411 to achieve the following targeted outcomes:

� Build a mechanism into CHEM 1411 that will close the gap between students of different backgrounds in the first half to two-thirds of the semester.

� Improve students’ understanding, retention and ability to apply key chemical concepts.

� Improve course, major and university retention.

� Improve student attitudes with respect to the value and utility of chemistry to their lives and to their disciplines.

� Improve students’ confidence in their ability to analyze and solve chemistry-related problems.

� Establish a strong and effective culture of ongoing assessment and curricular reform among the general chemistry faculty.

The goal of the TCRP is to have widespread adoption of course designs that promote student success, especially in the critical first year of college. The long-term goal of the TCRP is to see the redesign process lead to multiple models of successfully redesigned courses for a full freshman year of general education curriculum and developmental courses leading to the successful completion of these courses.