Geology at the College of Coastal Georgia
by Nrungwa Maasha
The College of Coastal Georgia is a unit of the University System of Georgia (USG). Up to last year (2008) the college was a 2-year community college offering primarily pre-baccalaureate associate degrees and college transfer programs as well as career certificate programs in technical areas. Most of the classes for the 3000-strong student population are held at the main campus of the college in the coastal city of Brunswick and the remaining are conducted at the Camden center about 45 miles south of Brunswick.
Currently the college is in the process of transitioning from a two-year to a 4-year college. Beginning the 2009 fall semester students can enroll in any of the four approved baccalaureate programs: nursing, business, elementary education, or secondary education. The college will continue to award the Associate degree in other areas it offered as a community college.
The Geology Program
Geology is housed in the Division of Mathematics, Science, and Physical Education. It is offered as a concentration leading to an Associate of Science degree in geology. As all Associate degree programs in the University System of Georgia, the geology program complies with all the requirements of the USG Core Curriculum and meets the criteria for transfer to any four-year unit of USG. Our program at the College of Coastal is comprised of:
- Area A- Essential Skills (9 credit hours in Language arts and mathematics)
- Area B –Institutional Options (4 credit hours in communication, computer science, or foreign language)
- Area C-Humanities/Fine Arts (6 hours in literature, humanities of fine arts)
- Area D- Science and mathematics (11 credit hours in science and mathematics)
- Area E -Social Sciences (12 hours in political science, US history, anthropology, or world civilization)
- Area F – Area of Concentration (18 credit hours in course that support geology)
- 8 credit hours in geology (physical and historical geology)
- 10 credit hours in chemistry, physics, or mathematics.
- Area G – Physical Education (4 Credit hours in healthy living concepts and an a course in a physical activity
Presently the only courses in geology taught at the College are physical and historical geology. Both courses have a laboratory component and have no pre-requisite so that they can be taken independently of each other by any student in an Associate degree or transfer program. Typically, students in each course take several field trips to places of geological interest to complement laboratory work (e.g. Providence Canyon, beaches on any of the islands in Brunswick, or active quarries).
The geology faculty consists of one full-time and two part-time teachers. In the fall and spring semesters sections of both physical and historical geology are offered in Brunswick while the offering at the Camden center alternates between historical and physical geology.
While the geology program at the College of Coastal Georgia is still in its infancy, its strength has been the power to expose the students to the earth sciences especially through field trips and laboratory exercises.