The High School to University Transition in Chemistry

Each year, some 1800 students enter one of our first year chemistry courses (CHM138 & 139 or 151) from high school. This continuing educational research project involves a mixture of surveys, focus groups, and interviews in an attempt to identify those factors contributing to a successful transition. From this, recommendations will be developed for students, high school teachers, and university instructors that will help ease the difficulties experienced by a significant number of new undergraduates every year.

Current Status:

The research for this project was completed in 2011, and is in the process of being written up. Preliminary findings can be found in the presentations posted on the Results & Reports page. A summary of the key findings will also be posted here once it is complete.

In Brief:

Just for Teachers:

Find out more about this project, and access resources of use to both you and your students!

Student Study Tips:

As part of the 2007-8 survey, the research students developed this Student Study Tips guide, based on the survey results, educational literature, and their own experiences. Please feel free to download a copy for your own use!

Note to instructors: If you wish to make these study tips available to your own students, please use this link:

This link will remain stable; any updates will retain the same file name. Please let the principal researcher know if you share this resource with your students!

More Info:

Those interested in this project may also find the following annotated reference list on chemical education of interest. (Last updated June 2009)