Geology at Mesa Community College, Mesa Community College
Program Design & Assessment
Every semester, we serve roughly 600 students, the vast majority of whom are non-science majors who enroll to satisfy their science lecture-lab requirement, as life-long learners, etc.
We offer a range of different introductory-level courses (100- and 200-level). None of these classes have prerequisites.
Strengths of this program
We don't have a degree program, but we have strong articulation agreements with state universities.
Types of students served
Students attending geology classrooms are generally reflective of the school population. However, those who choose to major in the geosciences are generally more white than the college population as a whole.
The goals of this program are as follows:
For both majors and non-majors alike, our primary goal is to prepare students to be successful in their transfer to a four-year degree program (and/or to successfully complete their associates degree).
The learning goals were informed by the following resources:
More than 90% of our students self-identify as enrolling in the course for a general science requirement (which is both a graduation requirement and a requirement for more four-year degree pathways).
How program goals are assessed
Assessment is done at the individual classroom level. As a participant in the NSF funded GARNET project, some classes have provided a GCI assessment to determine learning gains in the classroom. Both participating classes demonstrated at least some learning gains for classes, in particular the classes that were more student-centered resulted in high learning gains.
Design features that allow goals to be met:
We do not have an official way to track what happens to our students after they leave our institution.
Careers pursued by our alumni
We do not have any data on this.
Courses and Sequencing
Diagram of course sequencing and requirements
Entry into the degree
The two primary courses are: GLG 101 (physical geology) and GLG 102 (Historical geology), but there are also Geologic Disasters and the Environment (GLG 110) and Planetary Geology (GLG 105) that can contribute to specific degree pathways.
GLG 101/103, GLG 102/104 (but we do not have a specific program, so it is simply recommended)
Elective courses and Requirements
GLG 110 and 105 (previously described, 4 credit [with accompanying lab] courses) are electives. In addition, we offer GLG 121: Field Geology of the Grand Canyon [1 credit], GLG 229: Field Studies for Educators [1/2-3 credits], GLG 230: Field Studies of the Southwest [1/2-3 credits], GLG 231: Special Topics in Geology [1/2-3 credits], GLG 280: Geology of Arizona [3 credits], GLG 282: Service Learning in Geology [1-3 credits]—all of which count toward electives upon transferring, although students are limited in how many lower-division electives they can use for a degree.
Supporting Science and Math Courses
We recommend students complete the following prior to transferring:
College Chemistry (CHM 151/152)
Calculus-based Physics (PHY 121/131)
Calculus (2 semesters minimum) (MAT 220/230 or 221/231)
Other key features of this program:
We do not offer any specific geology degree at our institution, any students who have self-identified as geology majors are working toward a bachelors degree with as many of the prerequisites taken at our institution as possible.