What makes Davidson Chemistry so special?

I had an inkling that Chemistry could be taught in different ways from my first year at Virginia. Dean Harman created the “80’s Series” as a 4-semester block moving us through Gen Chem I, Orgo I, Orgo II, and Gen Chem II (in that order) with a strong basis in physical organic/inorganic chemistry. I credit it with developing my chemical intuition, which has helped me go quite far!

In 2015, Davidson’s Chemistry department switched up the curriculum in a different way: offer the option to take any introductory discipline course immediately after gen chem. Each discipline will have its own track, giving students the options to go deeper as their interest leads them. I personally love it for the opportunity to invite first and second year students into my inorganic course, long before most folks every see inorganic in a standard linear curriculum.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is looking to make changes to their curriculum as the transition away from a quarter system, so they invited me to talk about our shift and everything we’ve learned since. You can find the talk on YouTube below!


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