As part of the accreditation of the college, each major is required to assess a set of student learning outcomes (SLOs). One SLO is assessed annually by the chemistry department using an embedded assessment model. For embedded assessment, the effectiveness of the chemistry curriculum is determined using selected course assignments in 300-level courses that intersect with the theme of an SLO. Therefore, chemistry majors are not asked to undergo extra testing or complete additional assignments as part of our assessment strategy, but rather we use assignments that are already part of our curriculum. The chemistry department’s SLOs are constantly evolving as we move through the assessment process. As of the fall of 2023, the chemistry department’s SLOs are as follows:

Upon completing a chemistry major at Carleton College, students will be able to…

  1. demonstrate the ability to analyze, apply, and evaluate the unifying ideas in chemistry.
  2. apply atomic and molecular theory to explain macroscopic phenomena.
  3. analyze chemical phenomena and laboratory data using sound mathematical, statistical, and quantitative reasoning.
  4. display proficiency with the skills needed to function in the chemistry laboratory, including experimental design, appropriate use of chemicals, apparatus, and instrumentation, data collection and interpretation, reporting results, and working as an effective teammate.
  5. apply safety standards in the chemistry laboratory to help reduce potential hazards associated with experimentation, chemical management, and chemical disposal.
  6. locate, critically read, and analyze (in oral or written form) literature in chemistry and allied fields, including chemistry in popular literature and current events.