As the chemical industry and science graduate programs continually integrate state of the art analytical equipment and techniques into their work force and their research efforts, undergraduate academic institutions need to offer a curriculum that integrates technology into education and gives students the necessary background and preparation to be successful in scientific endeavors.
The addition of a high field FT-NMR spectrometer to our existing state of the art equipment, including an FT-IR, an HPLC, a capillary GC and a GC-MS, completes what we believe are the required instrument holdings to achieve our curricular changes. We are reorganizing the way we teach molecular structure in the beginning organic course and, for our majors, we are incorporating our advanced laboratory courses into a new integrated laboratory sequence team-taught by faculty with specialties in Analytical, Inorganic, Organic and Physical Chemistry. This project adapts a number of experiments from the Journal of Chemical Education and from the research literature to create the integrated laboratory sequence. The integrated laboratory project most closely models ones at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute and Willamette University. With these pedagogical and curricular changes, we expect to dramatically affect the way our students think and write about chemistry. We also expect to see increased participation by undergraduates in research.