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About the Department

Chemistry courses at Central Lakes College give students the opportunity to study the physical world and human impact on it. Faculty create meaningful learning experiences that stimulate intellectual curiosity and empower students to communicate effectively and engage in imaginative thinking. Students who enjoy working in a laboratory, solving problems and interacting with other people will find chemistry an ideal area of study.

The CLC Chemistry department offers a solid foundation in chemistry necessary for transfer into a four year program, admission to professional programs and employment in chemistry related areas. Chemistry careers are diverse including chemistry teachers, scientists, doctors, dentists, pharmacists, engineers, veterinarians, product developers, and many others.

Department Information

Department Description: Chemistry is a study of matter and all its interactions. It is central to our understanding of various disciplines such as biology, geology, materials science, medicine, physics and many branches of engineering. Chemistry and chemicals play a major role in our economy and affect our daily lives in a wide variety of ways. A course in chemistry can help you see how a scientist thinks about the world and how to solve problems. Knowledge and skills developed in chemistry will benefit you in many career paths and will help you become a better-informed citizen in a world that is becoming more technologically complex and interesting.

Department Learning Outcomes:

  • Formulate and test hypotheses by performing laboratory, simulation, or field experiments in natural science disciplines.
  • Demonstrate understanding of scientific theories and the ways in which scientists develop, express, and question theories in the field of chemistry.
  • Communicate their findings, analyses, and interpretations with other students and the instructor orally and in writing.

Click here for a complete listing of Chemistry course offerings.

Special Program Requirements: Besides a natural curiosity about what makes up the world around us and why things are the way they are, basic math and algebra skills are required for problem solving and chemical modeling. Please refer to the course catalog for each chemistry course’s math requirements.

Transfer Opportunities: Courses taken in chemistry will help develop your problem solving skills—a talent that is highly valued in today’s workplace. In addition, chemistry courses are required for almost all scientific and medical careers. And although technology continues to change at a rapid pace, the basic principles and concepts of chemistry remain the same. As a result, the knowledge and skills acquired in chemistry courses never become outdated and can transfer from one field of technology to another when making career choices or transitions.

Career Opportunities: Chemistry majors have career opportunities in research labs, teaching positions, environmental fields, pharmaceuticals or entrance into pharmacy or medical school.

Career Titles: Research Assistant, Lab Assistant, Analytical Chemistry Technician, Production Chemist, Quality Control Chemist, Chemical Sales, Environmental Chemist, Chemistry Instructor


Kirby Scott
My name is Kirby Scott and I graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1989 with a Master’s degree in Chemistry. Since then I have taught at Normandale and Anoka Ramsey Community Colleges, the University of Minnesota and since 1995 Central Lakes College.

I absolutely love teaching chemistry and incorporating the latest technologies into the classroom and laboratory. My passion is to make chemistry as understandable and enjoyable as possible. Outside the classroom I enjoy time with my family, attending sporting events, and spending time at the lake. Email Kirby for more information

Ann Domagala
I am an adjunct instructor in the Biology and Chemistry departments at Central Lakes College, and a collaborator for both departments in the College in the Schools program. I love having the opportunity to interact with students and understand what drives them and how to help them learn. I believe that biology and chemistry are the roots of all life and all human beings should have a basic understanding of their general principles. I enjoy the “ah ha” moments when a student listening to a lecture or working in a lab, makes a connection between the learning activity and some aspect of their own lives and the light bulb goes on and the light in their eyes and the excitement in their voice tell me that they understand.

Along with teaching at CLC, I have been a practicing large animal veterinarian for the past 27 years and when I am not teaching or visiting a high school, I am working out on the farms with livestock and horses. I completed a Doctorate in Naturopathy in 2000 and have a passion for studying and using alternative therapies to treat disease, specifically Lyme disease, in both humans and animals. Along with my significant other, I also own and operate a sheep ranch where we lamb in the spring and the fall and sell feeder lambs or feed the lambs to market weight in our feed lot.

The Brainerd Lakes area has grown and matured significantly since I arrived here in the late 80’s and although I wonder sometimes why I stay and endure the miserable cold winters, when summer finally comes around, and the people from the cities flock here, I know that this is indeed God’s country and while they can only spend a few days, I get to live here in paradise year around. Email Ann for more information

Student Testimonials


Current student
I have enjoyed the classes I’ve taken at CLC, but the most satisfying and unique experience I’ve had has been in the chemistry classes I’ve taken. Chemical Principles and Organic Chemistry give students at CLC the opportunity to study the same challenging coursework that is offered at 4-year institutions in a smaller setting with manageable class sizes. After my experience at a large University, I was stunned at the individual attention CLC students can get from their instructors. Professor Kirby Scott is always available to clarify material or answer questions. He takes an interest in his students and employs innovative supplemental tools to help students understand the material. I never imagined I would enjoy chemistry, but thanks to Professor Scott and the learning environment at CLC, a subject I used to think was intimidating is now one of my favorites.

Tom S.

Brainerd, MN – Current Student.
I am a third year student. I spent my first year taking general courses to figure out a career path that I would enjoy. After my first year I decided I wanted a career in the medical field. I chose to complete my first two years of a medical biology degree at Central Lakes College. I am so glad I decided to take General and Organic Chemistry here. I benefited from the small classes by getting to know my classmates and teacher. I feel like I learned more than I would have at a large university. The staff were exceptionally supportive and truly cared about how I was doing. It was helpful that I was able to get to know my teacher well enough to receive a reference for a medical job where I am currently employed. If you are considering a degree in the sciences, I would highly recommend beginning at Central Lakes College!

Employment Statistics

For more information regarding employment statistics, career salary information and estimated job growth, follow the resource links below: