Essays on Geoscience at Two-Year Colleges
Participants in several workshops have contributed essays touching on various challenges and opportunities of teaching at two-year colleges.Help
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Strategies for a Strong Geoscience Program at Red Rocks Community College part of Geoscience in Two-year Colleges:Essays
Eleanor J. Camann, Red Rocks Community College
When considering the strategies our program has used to meet some of the challenges associated with teaching at a two-year college, our effective use of non-traditional courses and transfer agreements immediately came to mind. I have only been teaching at the community college level for a couple of years, so I was not the first to initiate these tactics here at Red Rocks Community College, but I have found them to be very effective and think they're practices worth continuing and sharing with others who work in a similar setting.
Geoscience at Highline Community College part of Geoscience in Two-year Colleges:Essays
Eric Baer, Highline Community College
The most successful action was offering many introductory classes. This allowed students to take multiple introductory level classes and raised enrollments throughout. Furthermore, by having students take multiple classes we usually have a few students in each class that have had a previous class and so are more advanced. These students raise the educational achievement of all by becoming informal leaders.
The Two Year College and Beyond part of Geoscience in Two-year Colleges:Essays
Pamela Gore, Georgia Perimeter College
Georgia Perimeter College enrolls more freshmen by far than any single 4-year institution in the State. In Fall 2009, nearly 15,000 freshmen were enrolled at GPC, compared with only about 5000 at the University of Georgia and similar numbers (4000-5000) at several other colleges and universities in the State. While there are 33 Geology majors, fewer than 5 students graduate each year with a Geology degree. The other students transfer directly into 4-year institutions before graduation through our Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) Agreements, which guarantee acceptance at one of approximately 40 4-year institutions, when maintaining a particular GPA and amassing a certain number of credits. At one time, we were told by a local University that GPC transfer students performed better and graduated at higher rates than students who started at that university.
Repackaging the Geoscience Curriculum part of Geoscience in Two-year Colleges:Essays
David Kobilka, Central Lakes College
I work at a small rural community college where I am the only full time geoscience faculty. When I arrived here, hired on as an adjunct, enrollment was down college wide and registration for Earth Science classes was abysmally low. Administration had a tenuous commitment to even having an Earth Science department – in semesters prior to my arrival there had been no Earth Science courses offered at all. My first semester department budget did not even cover photocopies. Thanks to the generosity of colleagues I patched together charity from other departments for things like test forms and chalk.
Developing Earth Science Literacy in a 2 year college part of Geoscience in Two-year Colleges:Essays
David Voorhees, Waubonsee Community College
Developing and improving Earth Science and science literacy is one of the key driving motivations of my in- and out-of-class activities. Recent surveys (Pew Center, 2009, National Science Board, 2010) suggest an unreasonably poor understanding of basic geosciences. For example, in the these surveys, 28% of the participants responded that the „sun goes around the earth‟, 31% said that humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time, and about half (49%) said the earth is getting warmer "mostly because of human activity, such as burning fossil fuels". Low scientific literacy is just part of the overall poor background that my typical earth science students have when they come into my classroom.
Using conceptually-based interactive teaching methods at two- year colleges part of Geoscience in Two-year Colleges:Essays
Jessica Smay, San Jose City College
One of the main strategies I use to meet several of the challenging aspects of teaching at a two-year college is to use conceptually-based interactive teaching methods. This strategy helps address the issues of 1) lack of resources, 2) teaching a very diverse student body with non-majors, under-prepared students, and students with diverse learning strategies, and 3) keeping the course of introductory Geology fresh and exciting for me and the students.
Build It and They Will Come - Using a Monitoring Well to Advance a 2YC Geoscience Program part of Geoscience in Two-year Colleges:Essays
Robert Blodgett, Austin Community College
A project to construct a groundwater monitoring well on an Austin Community College (ACC) campus provides a number of lessons on using limited resources to improve geoscience education at a two-year college. The project started with the help of Francye Hutchins, an enthusiastic 40-something geology student who though ACC should celebrate the first Earth Science Week. Still ongoing, the well project has received donations of equipment and services from seven businesses, government agencies and non-profit organizations; dozens of hours of volunteer consultation from local hydrogeologists; media coverage in event attended by a state politician, students, and college officials; and after several years of success, a 200 square-foot wellhouse and teaching facility built by the college.
Quality, fieldwork, & blogging: my recipe for success part of Geoscience in Two-year Colleges:Essays
Callan Bentley, Northern Virginia Community College
There are a couple of items I'd like to touch on in this essay. Given the breadth of possible questions, I think it would be fair of me to mix and match a bit. So I intend to cover three things here, from general to specific: (1) quality, (2) field work, and (3) blogging.
Increasing Earth Science Literacy through Increased Awareness and Relevancy part of Geoscience in Two-year Colleges:Essays
Lynsey LeMay, Thomas Nelson Community College
An earth science class in high school is often the last time students have had any geoscience experience prior to taking an introductory physical geology class at a two-year college. Because of the age diversity at a community college, that last earth science experience can sometimes have been over ten years ago. As a result, in my experience, many students do not recall basic earth science topics, including how earth science impacts their daily lives. Whether preparing future geology majors, or simply promoting earth science literacy, making earth science relevant to students is something that I believe has a lasting impact on all students.
Faculty-Librarian Collaborations part of Geoscience in Two-year Colleges:Essays
Karen Berquist, College of William and Mary
What's a librarian doing at a 2yc Geoscience Workshop? Unlike you, I don't grade hundreds of pages every semester; don't hustle to prep for six or more lectures a week, and don't navigate daily challenges from administration and students. I am a geoscience educator in the broadest sense of the term. You might also call me an 'embedded librarian' in the science departments of a 4yc. There I collaborate with faculty, students, and other librarians to support their teaching and learning. Years ago that job was very collection-oriented. Now we focus on instruction and resources. Collaboration is the keyword. Just this week, the American College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Research Planning and Review Committee listed collaboration as one of the Top Ten trends in academic libraries. (June 2010 College & Research Libraries News vol. 71no. 6286)
Increasing Participation in the Geosciences at El Paso Community College part of Geoscience in Two-year Colleges:Essays
Joshua Villalobos, El Paso Community College
Community Colleges currently serve 44% of all undergraduate students and 45% of all of all first time freshmen in the US1. The combined low cost and flexibility of community colleges has also meant that they accommodate a large percentage of minorities entering higher education. Hispanics now constitute 15% of the general population and 19% of college population in the US1. This increase has led to more Institutions being designated HSI (Hispanic Serving Institutions) by the federal government, where at least 25 percent of the full-time-equivalent students are Latino.
Working Toward a Statewide Transfer Agreement for Geology in Colorado part of SAGE 2YC:Workforce, Transfer, and Careers:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
Eleanor Camann, Red Rocks Community College
Preparing students for transfer to bachelor's degree programs in geology and related disciplines is one of my primary goals as discipline lead and the only full-time geology faculty member at Red Rocks Community College (RRCC). To that end, I have become heavily involved in curriculum development and revision at the state level in order to strengthen our courses, and have worked with faculty from other institutions to determine course requirements for an AS in Geology degree. I will focus on the latter efforts for this essay.
Identifying geoscience 'majors' at Waubonsee part of SAGE 2YC:Workforce, Transfer, and Careers:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
David Voorhees, Waubonsee Community College
I have been teaching Earth Science, Geology, Astronomy and Geography full time at Waubonsee Community College for 10 years. As most of my teaching is the General Education Survey of Earth Science class, a 3-‐credit lecture course covering physical geology, oceanography, meteorology and astronomy, I don't have many, or know of many, geoscience majors in my classes, although I have identified several over the years using various techniques, four of which are described below.
UT El Paso-El Paso Community College Activities part of SAGE 2YC:Workforce, Transfer, and Careers:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
Diane Doser, University of Texas at El Paso, The
For the past ~3 years the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) has been working with El Paso Community College (EPCC) to help ease the transition of geoscience and environmental science students between our institutions. We have initiated a number of activities to accomplish this including: articulation of degree programs, review of introductory course content, cross-institution research projects with EPCC students and co-sponsored student research symposiums...
Using a 2+2 Agreement and a Simulated Geological Investigation to Improve Student Preparation part of SAGE 2YC:Workforce, Transfer, and Careers:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
Andrew Smith, Vincennes University
At Vincennes University we have found a number of techniques to be effective in preparing students for the geoscience workforce and/or transitioning to four-year programs. I would like to highlight two of the methods we use to improve student preparation.
Water Resources Management part of SAGE 2YC:Workforce, Transfer, and Careers:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
Mustapha Kane, Florida Gateway College
This project is a Water Resources Technology field work at the Suwannee River Water Management District monitoring stations in the Ichetucknee basin in North Florida.
Preparing STEM Educators part of Integrate:Workshops:Geoscience and the 21st Century Workforce:Essays
Shelley Jaye, Northern Virginia Community College
Shelley Jaye, Northern Virginia Community College The Noyce Scholarship Program George Mason University (GMU) NSF Program Award Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) Research Subaward NOVA Annandale has ...
How CCSF broadens geoscience participation part of Geoscience in Two-year Colleges:Essays
Katryn Wiese, City College of San Francisco
Community colleges are the location of choice for community education (post graduate), job certificates, and future graduates looking for the most affordable educational path. As such, we have the unique opportunity to become an integral part of a community and serve it at all levels. We are educators in a wide range of capacities – and our doors are open to all. We work with K-12 teachers and their classrooms; local science workshops; local news organizations; local parks; municipal services; politicians; and surrounding 4-year institutions to which our students transfer.
Fostering Communication Among 2-year College Geoscience Faculty: Trials and Tribulations part of Geoscience in Two-year Colleges:Essays
John Bartley, Muskegon Community College
Ten years ago, I was a participant in the first planning workshop for broadening participation of 2-year colleges in geoscience education. Since then, some changes have taken place to improve things for 2-year college geosciences, but many of the concerns and problems shared among the participants at that first conference are still with us—limited resources, professional isolation, the absence of a national organization devoted to 2YC geoscience education issues, etc.
Learning from Outside part of Geoscience in Two-year Colleges:Essays
William Van Lopik, College of Menominee Nation
Teaching geoscience in a tribal college has its own challenges and mazes that must be circumvented. These difficulties often relate to the meshing of two different unique forms of teaching and learning. The predominant native student body has a different "way of knowing" than the non-native professor who has been steeped in the objective, predictable knowledge system of western science. These differences are best characterized by the difference between indigenous knowledge and the scientific method. I am not one to say that one is better than the other, only that they are two distinct perspectives. An integration of the two is required in order for students to appreciate and understand the geosciences. The symbiosis between these two ways of thinking is called "integrative science." The challenge for the instructor is to design and teach their class in such a matter that is receptive and interesting based upon the students' way of learning.