May 30, 2024  
2022 - 2023 Cowley College Academic Catalog 
2022 - 2023 Cowley College Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]



5 Credit Hours

Student Level: 

This course is open to students on the college level in the freshman or sophomore year.

Catalog Description:

CHM4211 - General Chemistry (5 hrs.)

[KRSN CHM 1030/1031/1032]

An introduction to chemistry which includes the study of matter, atoms, molecules, chemical arithmetic, chemical reactions, gas laws, acids and bases, organic chemistry, and laboratory experimentation. 

Course Classification:

3 cr. Lecture/ 2 cr. Lab


EBM4405 Elementary Algebra, a higher level Math course with a grade of “C” or better within the past five (5) years, a Math ACT score of 18 or better, or an equivalent assessment score.

Controlling Purpose: 

This chemistry course is the beginning or preparatory chemistry which is offered to students who have a limited science background.  It gives the student a knowledge of the basic concepts of chemistry which are needed to enter a major chemistry course or other advanced science course.

Core Outcomes:

The learning outcomes and competencies detailed in this course procedure meet, or exceed the learning outcomes and competencies specified by the Kansas Core Outcomes Project for this course, as sanctioned by the Kansas Board of Regents.

Learner Outcomes: 

Upon completion of this course the student will read about, understand and successfully apply the basic concepts of chemistry:  atoms, elements, molecules, compounds, chemical reactions, chemical composition and quantities, modern atomic theory, chemical bonding and introductory organic and biochemistry.  In addition, the student will become proficient in application of chemical mathematics and laboratory procedures and techniques.

Unit Outcomes for Criterion Based Evaluation:

The following defines the minimum core content not including the final examination period. Instructors may add other content as time allows.

UNIT 1:  Introduction to Chemistry, Matter and Energy

Outcomes: Upon completion of this unit, the student will be able to understand the importance of learning chemistry, the process of scientific thinking, how to express measurements in appropriate units, the basic nature of matter and energy.

  • Describe the scientific method
  • Express numbers in scientific notation and ordinary decimal notation.
  • Know metric prefixes.
  • Express numbers derived from a calculation to the correct number of significant figures.
  • Calculate the density of a solid or a liquid.
  • Know chemistry lab safety rules.
  • Solve various types of problems using the dimensional analysis technique.
  • Convert from one temperature scale to another.
  • Distinguish between physical/chemical properties and changes.
  • Distinguish between elements, compounds and mixtures.
  • Know techniques used to physically separate components of a mixture.
  • Calculate the specific heat capacity of materials.

UNIT 2:  Elelments, Atoms, Ions and Nomenclature

Outcomes: Upon completion of this unit, the student will understand the difference between an element and a compound, the basic structure of the atom, and the system for naming inorganic compounds.

  • Define and appropriately use the following terms:  atoms, elements, molecules, compounds, cation and anion.
  • Identify common properties of ionic compounds.
  • List the 5 points of Dalton’s Atomic Theory.
  • Know how to write atomic symbols and be able to calculate the number of protons, neutrons and electrons contained in an atom by reading the atomic symbol.
  • Name chemical compounds from chemical formulas.
  • Write chemical formulas from chemical names.

UNIT 3: Introduction to Chemical Reactions

Outcomes: Upon completion of this unit, the student will understand how to recognize, write, balance and classify common types of chemical reactions.

  • Know how to recognize that a chemical reaction has occurred.
  • Write and balance a chemical equation from a word problem.
  • Classify chemical reactions according to types.
  • Define a driving force and name the four driving forces of chemical reactions.
  • Use solubility rules to predict the products in a chemical reaction. (identify products)
  • Provide examples of common acids and bases.
  • Write and balance acid-base reactions.
  • Write and balance combustion reactions.
  • Balance redox reactions by inspection.
  • Write complete ionic and net ionic equations for precipitation reactions and acid-base reactions.
  • Understand the pH scale and how pH is measured.
  • Understand the use of indicators to estimate the pH of a solution.

UNIT 4: Chemical Composition and Chemical Quantities

Outcomes: Upon completion of this unit, the students will understand this definition of a mole and how it is used, along with balanced chemical equations, to calculate chemical quantities.

  • Calculate molar mass.
  • Calculate grams of a sample if given the mols.
  • Calculate the mols in a sample if given the grams.
  • Determine the empirical formula and molecular formula of a compound.
  • Determine the amount of reactant needed for or amount of product produced in a chemical reaction.
  • Determine limiting reactant.
  • Calculate percent yield.

UNIT 5:  Modern Atomic Theory and Chemical Bonding

Outcomes: Upon completion of this unit, the student will understand the modern concept of atomic structure and how the modern periodic table is constructed.  Based on these principles, the student will understand the nature of various types of chemical bonds and how to represent the bonds between atoms in molecule using Lewis structures.

  • Write electron configurations for elements.
  • Identify valence electrons.
  • Explain why valence electrons are important.
  • Rank selected bonds in order of increasing polarity.
  • Write Lewis structures for simple molecules and ions.
  • Predict structures using VSEPR theory for simple molecules and ions.

UNIT 6: Introduction to Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry

Outcomes: Upon completion of this unit, the student will understand the nature and scope of organic and biochemistry.

  • Identify organic compounds.
  • Identify functional groups.
  • Give examples of biopolymers and synthetic polymers.
  • Relate the importance of the development of polymers to our society.
  • Understand basic structure and fundamental properties of proteins, carbohydrates, DNA, RNA and lipids.

UNIT 7:  The Gaseous State

Outcomes: Upon completion of the unit the student will be able to relate the gas law problems involving partial pressure, volume, temperature, pressure and moles.

  • Relate liquid height in a barometer of manometer, density of the liquid, and pressure.
  • Arrange the gas law to solve for the unknown variable.
  • Explain Dalton’s law of partial pressure and calculate partial pressure in a mixture of gas.

Projects Required:

The student will participate in classroom laboratory activities and prepare reports appropriate to these activities.  


Contact bookstore for current text.

Materials/Equipment Required:

Metric balance, volumetric glassware, pH meter, buret, bunsen burner, spectrum tubes, spectroscope Scientific calculator

Attendance Policy:

Students should adhere to the attendance policy outlined by the instructor in the course syllabus.

Late Daily Work:

May be accepted per instructor’s discretion.

Grading Policy:

The grading policy will be outlined by the instructor in the course syllabus.

Maximum class size:

Based on classroom occupancy

Course Timeframe:

The U.S. Department of Education, Higher Learning Commission and the Kansas Board of Regents define credit hour and have specific regulations that the college must follow when developing, teaching and assessing the educational aspects of the college. A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally-established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester hour of credit or an equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time. The number of semester hours of credit allowed for each distance education or blended hybrid courses shall be assigned by the college based on the amount of time needed to achieve the same course outcomes in a purely face-to-face format.

Refer to the following policies:

402.00 Academic Code of Conduct

263.00 Student Appeal of Course Grades

403.00 Student Code of Conduct

Disability Services Program:

Cowley College, in recognition of state and federal laws, will accommodate a student with a documented disability.  If a student has a disability which may impact work in this class which requires accommodations, contact the Disability Services Coordinator.