In your department, do majors and non-majors take separate introductory courses?yes
The real answer is sort of... We teach Physical Geology course, which is supposed to be more rigorous and designed for majors, and Environmental Geology, which has historically been more qualitative but I am not sure that is true anymore. The advising office tends to steer "non-science" folks into Environmental and "science and math types" into Physical. They cover most of the essentials needed for Geology but Environmental focuses more on surface processes and human impact whereas Physical is more about the physical processes that take place in and on Earth and not so much human impact.
If students take a "non-majors" course, and then decide to become a major, do they have to go back and take an additional introductory course? no
Students will also be able to identify 15 minerals, 13 igneous rocks, 10 sedimentary rocks and 6 metamorphic rocks, read topographic maps, interpret geologic information on maps.
When I teach the class again, I would like to re-examine the "goals" of the course to encourage students to do some data gathering and interpretation, particularly in the labs. I am writing this with goals of the course as it is taught right now.
Lots of working with maps in the labs
I have not taught this course for around 4 years but will be doing so again, I would like to incorporate clickers with concept tests and modify the labs for more critical thinking and data gathering.
Other aspects of my course are designed to accommodate the large number of faculty who teach the labs - a standard set of labs is necessary. I would like, however, to standardize some more active labs for part of the course, including gathering data and doing some analysis of that data. I would also like observations in the field to be widely incorporated into the lab portion of the course.
References and Notes:
I like the way it is set up with plate tectonics at the beginning, setting the stage for interpreting other features on and in Earth.
Laboratory Manual for Physical Geology by Norris Jones and Charles Jones
This is the text that has been used for years (the author is emeritus at Oshkosh) and because we often teach two lecture sections for Physical Geology, it is easier for those teaching labs to have the same lab manual for both sections.