The chemistry department at The University of Virginia’s College at Wise received accreditation by the American Chemical Society, making the program the fourth academic program at the College to receive such recognition.

ACS approval of the College’s baccalaureate chemistry program means UVa-Wise offers a rigorous curriculum that produces students with the academic and professional skills necessary for successful careers in the industry.

UVa-Wise now touts accreditation in nursing, education, software engineering/computer science, and now chemistry.

“I am so pleased that the American Chemical Society has granted accreditation to the UVa-Wise chemistry program,” said UVa-Wise Chancellor Donna P. Henry. “I’ve always had the highest confidence in our chemistry program. Our faculty have a breadth of scholarly and teaching experience. ACS accreditation reinforces the strength of our program and more clearly signals to graduate schools and employers that our students are well prepared for rigorous academic and professional careers in chemistry.”

ACS accreditation benefits UVa-Wise in many ways, including attracting leading high school students who want to study programs that are both rigorous and established. In addition, ACS approval also lets prospective students and businesses know the chemistry department contains excellent faculty and well-equipped facilities.

“American Chemical Society accreditation is a verification of the strength and quality of the chemistry program at UVa-Wise,” said Floyd Beckford, the Van W. Daniel III Endowed Professorship in Chemistry. “It is a recognition that the curriculum being offered by the Department of Natural Sciences is rigorous and fair and can produce graduates that are competitive in all post-baccalaureate endeavors.”

Beckford said it means student can now offer to graduate programs, professional programs and employers, clear and convincing proof that UVa-Wise is a solid academic institution.

“The College can now offer even more tangible proof to prospective students of the value of an education from us,” he said. “The notice of accreditation is the culmination of a multi-year process that involved a very detailed self-study of the chemistry program in the context of the department and the College. The process also involved a visit to the campus by experts appointed by the ACS Committee on Professional Training.  We are pleased and proud to receive this stamp of approval from the ACS.”

Margie Tucker, chair of the Natural Sciences Department, said Beckford took the lead on the accreditation process.

“He did a superb job,” Tucker said.