For microscopy undergrads, the opportunity is too big to miss.

The HCAS POV

Why do universities collaborate with Hooke College? For Jeff Jankowski, Ph.D., it would have been crazy not to.

Dr. Jankowski chairs the Department of Chemistry and Physics at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. He first visited Hooke while looking for a way expose students to significant microscopic equipment. What he found instead was a chance to kick-start careers.

“When I saw the courses and the opportunities they made available, I couldn’t not make that a part of our curriculum,” Dr. Jankowski says.

The 3+1 Program was the result. Now, undergraduates in Chemical Microscopy can do three years of coursework at North Central — and then spend a final year at Hooke College, logging time on the equipment there and building real-world experience with the McCrone Group.

The program gives students a head start on their careers in at least two ways, Jankowski says: It broadens their opportunities by widening their education. And it increases their marketability for jobs by offering a strong base of experience.

The institutional partnership of the 3+1 Program is what makes this possible. Students who study Chemical Microscopy, Dr. Jankowski says, complete a three-year course load that’s identical to that of traditional chemistry majors. Then they specialize.

“It’s almost like getting two degrees in one,” Dr. Jankowski says. “As a Chemical Microscopy major, you have that specialization — but three quarters of your training is as a chemist, so you could still get a job as a traditional chemist.”

And when it’s time to search for that job, Dr. Jankowski says, the 3+1 Program means students have a major leg up on the market.

“That last year is an internship; it’s a job — you’re a working professional. You’re already going to have a year’s worth of experience before you even graduate. And that makes you incredibly marketable.”


Jeff Jankowski is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. He holds a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and did postdoctoral work at the University of Illinois. In 1995, he was awarded Researcher of the Year for his work developing wastewater treatment products for Nalco Chemical Company. Jeff has been with North Central College since 2003.