CSU Chemistry Department Achieves National Accreditation

Floyd Jackson in chemistry lab with students.COLUMBUS, Ga.  — Columbus State University has achieved a major academic milestone with accreditation of its Department of Chemistry by the American Chemical Society.

ACS, the world's largest scientific society and a leading source of authoritative scientific information, has more than 163,000 members.

ACS accreditation means Columbus State's chemistry program, as stated in the organization's letter to CSU President Tim Mescon, "meets the spirit and intent of the ASC Guidelines for approved schools."

The accreditation has no defined period of time. All approved schools must report annually on degrees granted, chemistry faculty, and course offerings. Additionally, they must prepare a more extensive reevaluation report on a regular schedule (currently five years) unless there appears to be a reason to submit a report earlier.

That status will help Columbus State chemistry faculty as they apply for research funding.

"It means that we deliver the best for our students," said Floyd Jackson, chairman of Columbus State's Department of Chemistry. "The course material that we cover and offer is of equivalent value to any university from across the country. And it indicates that we are doing research, which is critical for us and our students."

CSU also expects accreditation to help with recruiting.

"(Chemistry) students now don't have to go anywhere else," Jackson said. "A student with an ACS certificate (from Columbus State) can go to graduate school easier now."

Earning accreditation was time-consuming. After discussing it for years, Columbus State began the process of seeking accreditation in 1999. A decade later, in 2009, Columbus State established a standalone Department of Chemistry as part of a university-wide restructuring. University officials said then that chemistry had to become its own department to become nationally accredited by ACS.

The next step was the pre-application to determine the feasibility submitting a full application for accreditation. The final step came in September 2012 with a site-visit by Nancy Mills, visiting associate of the ACS Committee on Professional Training.

Mills delivered her report on CSU to the organization, which recommended the Department of Chemistry's accreditation.

"We had been waiting until last weekend (May 4-5, 2013)," Jackson said. "It's been a long time coming. This is terrific news for the university."

Columbus State offers a Bachelor of Science degree in three tracks: Chemistry Applied, Forensic Chemistry and Chemistry Professional. It also offers a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry and Chemistry Second Education Track. The department has eight fulltime instructors that teach 115 students who are Chemistry majors.

For more information on CSU's Department of Chemistry, visit http://ColumbusState.edu/chemistry.

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Media: High-resolution original of photo