Course Content and Outcome Guide for CH 221

Course Number:
CH 221
Course Title:
General Chemistry I
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Explores measurements, properties of matter, nomenclature, atomic theory, chemical periodicity, and chemical bonding. Prerequisites: MTH 111, WR 115, and RD 115 or equivalent placement test scores, and (CH 151 or pass the CH 151 Competency Exam). Recommended for the following majors and pre-professional degrees: chemistry, natural science, engineering, medicine and dentistry. This is the first course in a three course sequence. For information about the CH 151 Competency Exam see the description addendum in the CCOG. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

For competency exam information and schedule visit this website, it is updated regularly:


Chemistry 221 is the first of a three term chemistry sequence designed to provide a year of general chemistry to science majors (5 credits/term). It will meet transfer school requirements for such science majors as: chemistry, physics, chemical engineering, pre-medicine, and other pre-professional programs. The class consists of lecture and laboratory. The lecture time is used to provide the student with foundational chemical concepts and mathematical applications to chemistry. The laboratory re-enforces concepts presented in lecture and provides the student a hands-on opportunity to explore these. 

Intended Outcomes for the course

After successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • apply the fundamentals of measurement, matter, atomic theory and chemical bonding to subsequent courses that depend upon these principles for comprehension such as in the field of chemistry, biology, physics, geology, engineering and related disciplines.
  • apply the fundamentals of chemistry to the understanding of themselves and their natural and technological environments.
  • solve specific problems encountered in everyday life and professional settings using both qualitative and quantitative mathematical and chemical reasoning skills.
  • collaborate to solve complex problems and accomplish tasks effectively in a team environment.
  • communicate complex scientific and technological ideas, models and conclusions through the generation of informal and formal writings and reports in a scientifically acceptable manner.
  • examine scientific information for source bias and evaluate the validity of the conclusions drawn from the given data.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

At the beginning of the course, the instructor will detail the methods used to evaluate student progress and the criteria for assigning a course grade. The methods may include one or more of the following tools: examinations, quizzes, homework assignments, laboratory write-ups, research papers, small group problem solving of questions arising from application of course concepts and concerns to actual experience, oral presentations, or maintenance of a personal lab manual.

At least two written lecture examinations, including the final examination, are scheduled during the term. Non-scheduled quizzes may occasionally be given at the discretion of the instructor. Written examinations include typical problems encountered in previous class work and laboratory. These examinations may also include challenge problems that ask students to apply concepts learned in class and lab in a new way in order to evaluate problem-solving ability and development of higher level thinking skills.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)


  • Introduction to Chemistry including Historical Development
  • Matter and Measurements
  • Atoms", Molecules and Ions
  • Nomenclature
  • Atomic Structure and Theory
  • Periodic Table
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Chemical Periodicity
  • Bonding Theories
  • Molecular Geometry
  • Bridge Topics to CH 222 (as time permits): Stoichiometry", Solid and Liquid States
  • Special Topics
    • Introduction to Spectroscopy", including Chromatography, MS and IR
    • Environmental Aspects of Chemistry including Greenhouse Effect and Ozone Depletion