Undergraduate Recruitment and Retention Efforts
Go back to the beginning of this presentation, by Randall Richardson and Susan Beck of the University of Arizona, about the results of a national survey of geoscience departments.
This page is a summary of the responses to these survey questions:
- Is undergraduate student recruitment/retention an issue for your department?
- Is graduate student recruitment/retention an issue for your department?
- Please describe departmental efforts in this area.
Common themes across institution type:
- Retention was not a major issue.
- Recruitment was an issue across institution type.
Some institution specific issues:
- Two-year institutions tended to emphasize employment opportunities in recruitment.
- Four-year institutions tended to better coordinate efforts with institutional recruitment offices.
- Master's institutions commonly cited the importance of relationships with K12 and community colleges.
- Doctoral institutions tended to more often hire staff to help with recruitment.
Common themes for recruiting efforts included:
- Effective teaching of intro courses, with active recruitment of majors.
- Early introduction to field experiences.
- Working with the institutional recruitment offices.
- 'Training' academic advisors about the geosciences.
- Support for the undergraduate environment, including study space and student lounges.
- Lots of contact, involving faculty, with recruited students.
- Revising curricula to have societal relevance.
- Building relationships with K12 and community colleges.
- Support for student geology clubs.
- Raising scholarship money for undergraduates.
- Effective departmental websites and publications.
Some less common efforts that seem relevant/promising:
- Using junior and senior students to assist in visiting high schools for recruitment.
- Using federal funding (e.g., NSF GeoScope and OEDG) to recruit minority students and work with K12 teachers.
- Releasing faculty time to focus on recruitment.
- Adding honors sections to intro/general education courses to attract best students.
- Offering 'hot topic' first year courses (e.g., Sumatra, Katrina) to attract students.
- Raising alumni funds to send undergraduates to GSA.
- Rewarding faculty successfully recruit new majors.
- "We give recruitment talks in every introductory class semester"
- "Ever-closer work with community college partners in transfer student recruitment"
- "If it (recruitment) isn't an issue at all times, it becomes your problem"
- "(We) provide departmental resources (student lounge / new computer lab) and support student organizations in the department."