Collaborative Approach Raises Pass Rate in Organic-Chemistry Course at Rochester

Organic chemistry gets a bad rap. "Students hear that this is one of the hardest courses in the world, a killer," says Jack A. Kampmeier, a chemist at the University of Rochester. And truth be told, it is.

In the mid-'90s, about one-third of the 250 students taking organic chemistry each semester at Rochester failed the course or dropped it. In Mr. Kampmeier's class alone, only 67 percent of students got a C- or better -- the grade required to move on to