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Education

New Reporting Tool Aids Student Chapters

by Susan J. Ainsworth
November 25, 2013 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 91, ISSUE 47

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The online dashboard provides a snapshot of each student chapter and facilitates sharing of ideas between chapters.
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The online dashboard provides a snapshot of each student chapter and facilitates sharing of ideas between chapters.

The ACS Undergraduate Programs Office has launched a new report submission tool that allows the society’s student chapters at colleges and universities to efficiently record and organize the data and information they are expected to collect throughout the year and submit to ACS each May.

That information, which includes details about the events and activities that the chapters sponsor, is used to assess their qualifications for annual student chapter awards presented at spring ACS national meetings.

Before the tool was launched in September, students were required to download a Word document and fill in pertinent information all at once, often just before the due date, says Nicole Di Fabio, senior education associate in the ACS Undergraduate Programs Office.

“We are excited because it seems like we really hit the mark in designing this new tool,” Di Fabio adds. Already, more than 180 out of 450 active student chapters have logged in and begun using it, she says.

One plus is that the tool enables chapters to share information. For example, as a chapter records information on a unique or successful event that it thinks other chapters might want to mimic, it can check a “share” box that is built into the tool. After review by the undergrad programs office, that information can be posted across all chapters via each chapter’s online dashboard, a feature of the new tool, Di Fabio says.

The dashboard can also display an updatable snapshot of each chapter, including the names of officers and faculty advisers, the number of student members, lists of past chapter awards, and a calendar of deadlines and meeting dates.

Feedback on the tool from the student chapters’ faculty advisers has been overwhelmingly positive, according to Nancy Bakowski, assistant director of higher education in the ACS Education Division. “Advisers like that the tool encourages students to plan and stay engaged and look for new ideas,” she says. The tool, she adds, was designed to help students develop as professionals, in part by building key leadership and other soft skills.

For more information about the report submission tool, go to www.studentchaptersonline.acs.org or e-mail undergrad@acs.org .

Announcements of ACS news may be sent to acsnews.cen@acs.org.

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