Executive Summary of the Review of Chemistry Programmes

  • In accordance with the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) Institutional Quality Assurance Process (IQAP), the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering submitted a self-study in September 2012 to the Director of the Office of Quality Assurance. For the two programmes under review, the BSc in Chemistry and the Honours BSc in Chemistry, it contained the degree level expectations for these programmes, an analytical assessment of the programmes, course outlines, programme-related data, survey data from the Office of Quality Assurance and appendices with sample examinations and CVs of faculty members. One arm's-length external reviewer (Dr. Sylvain Robert, Professor of Chemistry and Biology, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières) and an internal reviewer (Dr. R. Georges Sabat, Assistant Professor of Physics, RMC) were selected from a list of possible reviewers and approved by the Deans' Council. They reviewed the self-study documentation and conducted a site visit to RMC November 28-30, 2012. The visit included interviews with a representative of the Vice-Principal (Academic), the Dean of the Faculty of Science, the Associate Dean of Science, Heads of the Departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science, and Physics, the Chief Librarian, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students, graduates of RMC, and most members of the department. The reviewers toured the Library, several of the Chemistry laboratories and the already renovated first year Physics laboratory in Sawyer Module 2 as an example of the future state of the Chemistry laboratories in Sawyer Module 5, which were undergoing renovation in 2012-13.
  • The reviewers submitted their report in May 2013, in which they described how the Chemistry programmes meet the IQAP evaluation criteria and are consistent with RMC's mission and academic priorities. The admission requirements, the recently revised curriculum, teaching and assessment were all appropriate. The English and French streams of the programmes were found to be equivalent. The demands of the combined military and academic programme were noted, as well as student views on the core curriculum in Arts. The undergraduate Programme was recently restructured to respond to faculty and staff reductions due to workforce adjustment. With an upcoming retirement, the area of environmental studies will need additional faculty. The new programme was found to be viable and competitive with other Canadian university chemistry programs. Laboratory equipment and instruments are adequate. The number of laboratory hours has been increased to meet the Canadian Society of Chemistry requirements. Due to ongoing renovation at the time of the site visit, the quality of the physical space could not be adequately assessed. The reviewers found that the fourth year honours project is highly effective in preparing students for graduate studies. The Review Team provided several recommendations for consideration for programme improvement.
  • The Head of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, after consultation with faculty and staff in the department, submitted a response to the Reviewers' Report in February 2013. The Interim Dean of the Faculty of Science submitted a response to the Reviewers' Report and the Programme's Response in June 2014. Specific recommendations Executive Summary of Review of Chemistry programmes, two were discussed, and clarifications and corrections presented. Follow-up actions and timelines were included. Based on all of the above documentation, a Final Assessment Report and an Implementation plan were prepared by the Dean of Science for the Senate. These were approved by Senate in June 2014. The Programme has been approved to continue and is scheduled for its next review in eight years (2020-21).
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