Session S6 (Sunday, 2pm, Life Sciences 011)

P35: Perspectives on two decades of the “Organic First” curriculum at Juniata College

Richard Hark (Juniata College, USA)

Juniata College has nearly twenty years of experience with “Organic First”, a nontraditional curricular approach in which a two-semester organic chemistry sequence specially designed for first year students is followed by a year of coursework that emphasizes many of the topics traditionally covered in a general chemistry course. All of these courses and their associated laboratory components present material in a way that acknowledges that most of the consumers are biologists or pre-professional students and not chemists. Coverage and expectations in the sophomore level courses extends beyond what is typically encountered in General Chemistry. At Juniata, the two courses are currently called “Introductory Inorganic Chemistry” and “Analytical Chemistry.” Topics removed from the freshman organic chemistry sequence are addressed in a junior level “Organic Reactions” course. Anecdotal and quantitative evidence of the advantages and effectiveness of this approach will be shared.


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