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General Chemistry I

Course Number: CH 221
Transcript Title: General Chemistry I
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: December 19, 2014
Total Credits: 5
Lecture Hours: 40
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 30
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: No
Satisfies General Education requirement: Yes
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit


WR 115 and RD 115 or equivalent placement test scores

Prerequisite / Concurrent

MTH 111

Course Description

Introduces measurements, classification and properties of matter, nomenclature, atomic structure and modern atomic theory, periodic table and chemical periodicity, and chemical bonding. This is the first course in a three course sequence. Recommended for chemistry and other natural science majors, and paraprofessional majors in engineering, medicine and dentistry. Recommended: Successful completion of a high school or a college chemistry class with a lab component in the last 3 years. Prerequisite: WR 115 and RD 115 or equivalent placement test scores. Prerequisite/concurrent: MTH 111. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

After successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Apply the fundamental principles of measurement, matter, atomic theory and chemical bonding to subsequent courses in chemistry, biology, physics, geology, engineering and various other related disciplines that depend upon these principles for comprehension.
  2. Apply the fundamental principles of measurement, matter, atomic theory and chemical bonding to their understanding of themselves and their natural and technological environments.
  3. Use mathematical and chemical reasoning skills, both qualitative and quantitative, to solve specific problems encountered in everyday life and professional settings.
  4. Use effective collaborative skills when working with other people to solve complex problems and accomplish tasks effectively.
  5. Use an understanding of written communication skills to effectively communicate complex scientific and technological ideas, models and conclusions through the generation of informal and formal writings and reports in a scientifically acceptable manner.
  6. Critically evaluate sources of scientific information to logically decide the bias, strengths and weaknesses of the information concerning the effect of chemistry and chemical concepts on themselves and their environment.

Alignment with Institutional Core Learning Outcomes

Outcome Assessment Strategies

At the beginning of the course, the instructor will detail the methods used to evaluate student progress and the criteria for assigning a course grade. The assessment methods may include one or more of the following: examinations, quizzes, homework assignments, laboratory write-ups, research papers, small group problem solving, oral presentations or maintenance of a personal lab notebook.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  • Introduction to Chemistry including Historical Development
  • Matter and Measurements
  • Atoms, Molecules and Ions
  • Nomenclature
  • Atomic Structure and Theory
  • Periodic Table
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Chemical Periodicity
  • Bonding Theories
  • Molecular Geometry
  • Bridge Topics to CH 222 (as time permits): Stoichiometry, Solid and Liquid States
  • Special Topics:
    • Introduction to Spectroscopy, including Chromatography, MS and IR
    • Environmental Aspects of Chemistry including Greenhouse Effect and Ozone Depletion

Department Notes

Chemistry 221 is the first of a three term, 15-credit hour (5 hours/term), chemistry sequence designed to provide a year of general chemistry to science majors. It will meet transfer school requirements for such science majors as: chemistry, physics, chemical engineering, pre-medicine, and other pre-professional programs. The class consists of lecture, recitation and laboratory. The lecture time is used to provide the student with basic chemical concepts and mathematical applications to chemistry. The recitation time is for practicing problem solving in small group settings allowing for greater student-student as well as student-teacher contact and encouraging individual and team development. The laboratory re-enforces concepts presented in lecture and provides the student a hands-on opportunity to explore these.

Lab B Notes: The lab for this course has been approved as "Lab B". This means that Faculty effort in preparation and evaluation generally occurs outside of scheduled class hours. Class format is a combination of Faculty lectures and demonstrations, guided student interactions and supervised student application of lectures. Students produce written work such as lab notebooks, reports, and responses in writing to assigned questions, and the Instructor is expected to comment on and grade this written work outside of schedule class hours. This evaluation will take place on a regular basis throughout the term.