Strong Geoscience Departments > Degree Programs > Course Profiles > Chicago Rocks, Northeastern Illinois University

Course profile: Chicago Rocks! Geology in the City

Northeastern Illinois University

Entry level earth science course, 16-30 students

Information for this profile was provided by Karen S. Bartels in 2007. Information is also available on the course website. The course was designed and is taught by Jean Hemzacek Laukant and Laura Sanders.

Jump down to Overview and Context * Course Content * Connecting to the Future of Science * Goals and Assessment * References and Resources * Additional Materials

Overview and Context

This course is specifically designed for first year students (part of the university First Year Experience program), to fulfill a natural science requirement of our university's General Education program. The course objectives cover specific content of earth science, with a focus on the local geology of Chicago. Integrated with this geology content are course elements to develop student skills necessary to succeed in college. The course is team-taught by two instructors, both of whom use a hands-on, interactive approach to learning.

Course Content

This Earth Science course covers geologic and hydrologic concepts as illustrated and applied to the local environment (city of Chicago). For example, earth materials are covered by focusing on bedrock and surficial deposits maps of the region, as well as geologic resources used in the city. Glacial geology, environmental geology, and topographic and geologic map interpretation are other major areas of focus. Elements of the course are designed to develop skills for future success in college and are integrated with the science content.

Connecting to the Future of Science

This general education course focuses on real-world, local applications of earth sciences. As one of only a few science courses that most non-science majors will take, its purpose is to show students why science is relevant to their lives, and to help develop informed citizens.

Goals and Assessment


Students who successfully complete this course will be able to: In addition, students will


Attitudinal surveys and self-reflective questionnaires are used to assess progress in student study skills. In-class activities and classroom assessment techniques are used as formative assessment for earth science concepts. Exams, assignments, an individual term paper, and a group project are used to evaluate student performance.

References and Resources

Additional Materials

Download the course syllabus. (Acrobat (PDF) 57kB Mar26 07)
Download Northeastern Illinois University's First Year Experience Goals Matrix (Acrobat (PDF) 35kB Mar26 07)

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