Cutting Edge > Strong Geoscience Departments > Student Recruitment

Student Recruitment

These webpages were written by Carol Ormand, based on ideas compiled from the 2005 workshop on Developing Pathways to Strong Departments of the Future and the 2007 workshop on Strategies for Successful Recruitment of Geoscience Majors.

Recruiting a critical mass of high quality students is essential to building a successful geoscience program. These pages present many tried-and-true strategies for doing that, along with examples of how various departments have implemented those strategies. To share your own examples to be added to these pages, use our online recruitment materials submission form.

Recruitment Strategies

This page is an extensive list of all of the strategies suggested by our workshop participants, with links to the detailed examples on the pages below.

Videos about Recruitment Strategies

This page has videos of six of the presentations given at the 2007 workshop on Strategies for Successful Recruitment of Geoscience Majors.

Feature Your Introductory Classes

Very few students come to college planning to major or minor in geoscience, so introductory courses are primary vehicles for recruitment. Make the most of that opportunity.

Inform Students about Career Opportunities in Geoscience

Today's students (and their parents) are highly motivated by practical considerations: Will they be able to get a job with their degree? How well will it pay? Will it be satisfying? By informing your students about the full range of career opportunities in the geosciences, you will improve your chances of recruiting majors (Marketing Earth Science Education, 2002).

Take Your Students Beyond the Classroom

A great deal of college learning takes place outside of the classroom, and these are often the experiences that students find most memorable and most valuable - the experiences they tell their friends about. Find out how other departments have integrated research experiences, internships, field work and service learning into their programs.

Advertise Your Program, on Campus and Beyond

Your fellow faculty members and the staff of the admissions office and campus career center can be allies in your recruitment efforts, but only if they know about your program(s). Likewise, students don't choose majors they've never heard about. Get the word out around your campus and your community about the vital work you and your students are doing.

Assess Your Recruitment Efforts

It's tempting to think that increased enrollments must be the result of increased recruitment efforts. However, correlation does not indicate causation. To assess your recruitment effectiveness accurately, you'll need to use an assessment tool that indicates causation.

References and Additional Readings

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