Course Syllabus

Chem 42 Introductory Chemistry
Section 4340 - Course Syllabus

This syllabus is to be considered as an agreement. Continued registration in this course means that you agree to the policies and procedures outlined in this syllabus. This syllabus is intended to give the student guidance in what may be covered during the semester and will be followed as closely as possible. However, the instructor reserves the right to modify, supplement and make changes as the course needs arise. The syllabus of record is the one posted on Canvas.

Course Description

Introduction to fundamental laws and principles of the composition of matter, physical and chemical changes, atomic and molecular structure, chemical equilibria, intermolecular forces, solutions, qualitative theory and techniques, and quantitative theory and techniques.

This course prepares you for Semester 1 of General Chemistry. It is highly suggested you have some familiarity with the math you will encounter in this course. You should have completed MATH 154 or higher (MATH) or two years of high school algebra or equivalent.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Analyze basic quantitative problems in chemistry, and apply them to real life situations.
  2. Correlate macroscopic properties of matter with its structure and behavior at the atomic scale.
  3. Communicate effectively using common chemical conventions and notation.
  4. Evaluate available information to plan, perform and interpret basic laboratory experiments.

Class Meetings

  • Lecture
    • Tuesday and Thursday in person
    • 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Bech Hall Room 1901
  • Lab
    • Thursday in person
    • 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    • Bech Hall Room 1960

Instructor Contact

Andrea Chase Grill


Please use the Canvas Inbox for all course communications.

Office Hours: MW 1:30-2:00 PM, Bech Hall Room 1970.

I respond to messages within 48 hours.

Course Materials

Web Access

This course requires access to the SRJC's online learning management system (Canvas). Although Canvas has been carefully crafted to accommodate low bandwidth environments (Minimum of 512kbps), a Broadband/DSL connection will ensure best video viewing.

All portions of this course have been tested for mobile access. It is recommended to also have a computer with an up-to-date web browser for a better user experience. 

If you need assistance with computer or internet access, the SRJC Library provides laptop and hotspot rentals. See SRJC Technology + Gear to learn more. 


Students will use the Canvas course web site for assignment instructions, submitting assignments, sharing resources, and viewing grades.

The instructor will occasionally post announcements in Canvas throughout the semester. Canvas notifies students according to their preferred Notification Preferences as soon as the instructor creates an Announcement.

It is the student's responsibility to check Canvas regularly.


The required textbook is Introductory Chemistry: Atoms First5th edition, by Michael E. Silver and Steve Russo.

Scientific Calculator

  • It is strongly recommended to get a scientific calculator (can do logs, square roots, and scientific notation).
  • Each calculator is slightly different and getting familiar with one now will pay off in future course work.
    • If access to a scientific calculator is problematic for any reason, talk to your instructor about it and we can work together on a solution.
  • A graphing calculator is not allowed on Exams, loaner calculators for the exam can be made available, but it may be a style you are unfamiliar with. 
  • SRJC Library offers calculators for checkout (SRJC Technology + Gear)
  • Any model or brand is good, I suggest asking classmates what they have if you are undecided. It is nice to have classmates with the same model when doing new operations. 

Recommended Software

You will be provided PDFs and PPTs for download. To view these items, it is recommended to obtain the proper software.  

Chem 42 Course Information

Instructor Announcements and Q&A Forum

The instructor will post announcements on the “Instructor Announcements” page in Canvas throughout the semester. Canvas notifies students according to their preferred Notification Preferences as soon as the instructor creates an Announcement. A “Q&A Forum” is also on Canvas to ask for assistance of your classmates or of instructor.


Students who fail to attend the first class or do not log-in to an online class after the second day of the semester will be dropped from the class. It is strongly advised that if you need to miss more than one class/homework deadline in a row that you contact me to avoid being dropped from the class.

In-class work, ie quizzes, participation, worksheets (5% of Grade)

There is no make-up work for absences.

Homework (5% of Grade)

You will be assigned homework and Study Checks throughout the semester. Prior to each exam you will complete a self-evaluation of your homework.

Laboratory work (30% of Grade)


Late Policy

All assignments are due on the due date and Canvas assignments are given a 24 hour grace-period for late submissions. After 24 hours, points may be deducted. Submissions more than one week late can be accepted for half-credit prior to the exam. 

Exams (60% of Grade)

There will be 3 mid-term exams and 1 final exam. The dates of the mid-term exams are subject to change. The material comes from the textbook, class lectures and supplemental materials. If any exam is missed, a zero will be recorded as the score.

Each exam is worth 20% of your grade, your lowest score will be dropped as long as you attempt the Final Exam. (Missing the Final exam will result in a score of 0 that will count towards your final grade.)

Grading Policy

Visit the “Grades” in Canvas to keep track of your grades. I post grades and comments on the online Canvas gradebook.

Grades will be assigned as follows:









If taking Pass/No Pass you need at least 70% of the total class points and complete the midterm exams and the final exam to pass the class.

SRJC Course Information

Dropping the Class

If you decide to discontinue this course, it is your responsibility to officially drop it to avoid getting no refund (after 10% of course length), a W symbol (after 20%), or a grade (after 60%). Also, for several consecutive, unexplained absences, the instructor may drop a student.

Pass‐NoPass (P/NP)

You may take this class P/NP. You must decide before the deadline, and add the option online with TLC or file the P/NP form with Admissions and Records. With a grade of C or better, you will get P.

You must file for the P/NP option by the specified date above. Once you decide to go for P/NP, you cannot change back to a letter grade. If you are taking this course as part of a certificate program, you can probably still take the class P/NP. Check with a counselor to be sure.

Standards of Conduct

Students who register in SRJC classes are required to abide by the SRJC Student Conduct Standards. Violation of the Standards is basis for referral to the Vice President of Student Services or dismissal from class or from the College. See the Student Code of Conduct page.

Collaborating on or copying of tests or homework in whole or in part will be considered an act of academic dishonesty and result in a grade of 0 for that test or assignment. I encourage students to share information and ideas, but not their work. See these links on Plagiarism:
SRJC Writing Center Lessons on avoiding plagiarism
SRJC's policy on Academic Integrity

Special Needs

If you need disability-related accommodations for this class, such as a note taker, test-taking services, special furniture, etc., please provide the authorization letter from the Disability Resources Department (DRD) to your instructor as soon as possible. You may also speak with me privately during office hours about your accommodations.

Students with disabilities who believe they need accommodations in this class are encouraged to contact Disability Resources (707-527-4278 or visit Getting Started with DRD), as soon as possible to better ensure such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion.

If your Accommodation letter provides exam extensions, notify your instructor IN WRITING at least 1 week in advance, and no more than 3 weeks in advance, to inform them you intend to use accommodation/s for an upcoming exam. Please specify the exam.

Physical and Mental Health

Should you experience any physical or mental health issues, know that all of us at SRJC care about your well-being. SRJC’s Student Health Services (SHS) has nurse practitioners and mental health therapists available. Confidential sessions are provided via secure Zoom or in-person. Sessions are free for SRJC students taking credit or non-credit classes, and some providers can converse with you in Spanish if you prefer. SHS also has on-site covid rapid testing and vaccinations available also at no cost.

To start the process for any type of physical or mental health appointment contact Student Health at 707 527-4445 or email

More information about all that Student Health Services provides is available at

COVID-19 Resources

Covid-19 Help Line – Questions or assistance, call 707-524-1500 or email The team answering the calls and emails is well trained and will provide the proper guidance. 

Recommended Study Procedures

  1. Check the Canvas website frequently, and budget sufficient time to prepare for upcoming class activities and assignments.
  2. When readings in a new chapter are assigned, begin by skimming the entire chapter once and read the Key Concepts and Key Terms list or similar. Then go back and carefully study the pages of assigned reading.
  3. Look up the meanings of new terms in the Glossary and jot down questions to ask your instructor either during the lecture or outside of class. Work as many on-line, in-chapter exercises and end-of-chapter problems as possible before coming to the lecture on that material. These attempted and corrected solutions should be organized in a notebook for easy reference prior to examinations. If you have purchased the "Solutions Manual", always try to work each problem without first referring to the set-up and answer provided. Use the manual mainly to check your strategies and answers or to furnish help when you are truly drawing a blank.
  4. After the lecture, ask questions from your list that remains unanswered during your instructor's scheduled office hours or make an appointment. Also plan to use slack laboratory time to seek clarification from your instructor on any aspect of the course.
  5. As soon as possible after the lecture, re-copy or refine your notes, re-read the textbook and work additional end-of-chapter or on-line problems while the lecture is still fresh in your mind.
  6. Before examinations, study the text and review your notes and solutions once again. Get plenty of rest and don't forget to bring some sharpened pencils with erasers and a scientific calculator.
  7. After the exam, study those areas you were weakest in. Re-work the exam problems until you obtain the correct answers. Use the posted exam key if necessary. Always study the posted key even if you earned a respectable score, and copy the correct solutions to provide useful strategies in solving future problems. The answer keys will only be posted for about two weeks following each exam.
  8. If you start falling behind in the class, double your efforts, and seek help from your instructor before it is too late.