Michael Kahlow, Ross Jilk, Barbara Nielsen, Magdalena Pala, Karl Peterson, Jeff Rosenthal, David Rusterholz, Jamie Schneider, Stacey Stoffregen (University of Wisconsin – River Falls, USA)
In 2008, the University of Wisconsin – River Falls (UWRF) implemented an alternative Organic First curriculum with the aid of a National Science Foundation – Course and Curriculum Development (CCLI) award. This new curriculum was designed primarily for those students who need at least four semesters of chemistry (typically chemistry, biology, and preprofessional majors). Our program goals were to increase student progression, retention, learning, and interest in chemistry. The first two courses of the sequence emphasize the principles of chemistry as applied to the life sciences. The first introduces the general principles of chemistry through the lens of organic chemistry; the second is very similar to a standard second semester organic course. The third course covers principles of general chemistry (mostly general chemistry II) and the fourth is a standard analytical chemistry course. We are assessing this program and our traditional curriculum through measures of student learning (ACS standardized exams), student grades, retention, and progression. Description of the courses and curriculum along with results of student assessment will be presented.