Message from the Chair, George Bodner, Winter 2012

As I approach the end of the 2012 calendar year, I want to start by thanking all of the people who have helped me during my term as chair of the ACS Division of Chemical Education. I’d also like to reflect on the wisdom of the decision that Arlene Russell, Frank Torre, and I made last winter to hold periodic meetings of the three members of the DivCHED chair succession. We started with a “fly/drive-in” meeting in January and met at both national ACS meetings and at the BCCE this summer. I was blessed this year by being able to repeatedly solicit advice from both Arlene Russell, as the immediate past-chair, and Frank Torre, as chair-elect.

In a previous column, I commented on the NRC report entitled “A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas,” which is available at the National Academies Press website (www.nap.edu). I noted, at that time, that efforts were underway to use this report as the foundation upon which the Next Generation Science Standards would be based. While I was working on this column, an Email arrived announcing that the release of the final draft of the NGSS is scheduled for the first week in January. For more information, please see: http://www.nextgenscience.org.

In an earlier column, I noted the creation of an ACS Two-Year College Advisory Board (TYCAB), whose members include representatives from both two-year and four-year institutions; from SOCED, DivCHED and the CHED Committee on Chemistry in the Two-Year College (COCTYC); and from both the ACS Committee on Professional Training and the ACS Committee on Minority Affairs. The creation of TYCAB was the result of work by a SOCED Task Force that recognized both the growing recognition of the role of two-year colleges in higher education and the importance of promoting the use of the newly-revised ACS Guidelines for Chemistry in Two-Year College Programs. The inaugural TYCAB “retreat” was held on December 1st at ACS headquarters.

TYCAB was created “to promote the needs and activities of two-year colleges, to advocate for resources, to facilitate communication and collaboration, to constitute working groups, and to make recommendations about the future direction of two-year college activities ...” The TYCAB charter, adopted in April, 2012, calls on this group to serve as a consultative and advisory body to the ACS Office of Two-Year Colleges and other ACS activities pertinent to two-year colleges. TYCAB is charged with promoting the activities of the two-year college community, advocating for resources for two-year colleges, facilitating communication and collaboration on issues of important to the two-year college chemistry community, making recommendations about the future directions of two-year college activities, and creating working groups to address specific activities or issues related to two-year colleges.

TYCAB does not mark a new direction for the ACS; the first milestone for the Society’s commitment to two-year colleges occurred more than 50 years ago, with the establishment of the Two-Year College Chemistry Consortium (2YC3) in 1961. And it has been more than 40 years since the ACS published the first edition of Guidelines for Chemistry Programs in Two-Year Colleges. Although it is not a new direction, the creation of TYCAB is consistent with the expansion of the ACS Education Division’s Office of Two-Year Colleges in 2010 and reflects the commitment of the Society to Goal 3 of the ACS Strategic Plan: “Foster the development of the most innovative, relevant, and effective chemistry education in the world.”

In closing, I would like to point out the results of calculations I have done over the years about which members of Division should be proud. Just more than 3% of the 164,000 members of the ACS are members of DivCHED. And yet, when I did the calculation several years ago, roughly one-quarter of the members of the ACS Council present at one of the national meetings were members of DivCHED. Furthermore, on the basis of the results of the most recent ACS elections, it is interesting to note that six of the 12 elected members of the ACS Board of Directors for 2013 are members of DivCHED.

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