Supporting Minority Students at California State University, Bakersfield
California State University, Bakersfield
What are the demographics of your institution and do the students in the program reflect that?
Of the 8,520 students matriculated at California State University, Bakersfield in fall 2012, 53% were from groups underrepresented in the sciences, engineering, and mathematics, with Hispanics at 45% the largest group, and Blacks and Native Indians making up another 8%. Fall 2012 undergraduate geology major demographics are 37% Hispanic, 2% Black, and 1% American Indian, a reasonably close reflection of the demographics of the university as a whole.
How many majors?
In Fall 2013, there were well over 100 undergraduate geology majors and about 45 graduate students.
What degree programs are available in the department?
BS Geology, BA Geology, MS Geology
Is there a historical reason for the program's existence?
The undergraduate program was originally a broad-based BS in Earth Science degree that was among the first programs offered when the university was founded in the 1970s. In the mid-1980s, the program was changed to a more focused, traditional BS Geology degree to better meet the needs of employers in the region. The MS Geology program was also initiated in the mid-1980s at the request of employers and professionals in the region.
Keys to Success
- The program attracts new students through K-12 outreach efforts and introductory general education classes.
- The program supports its majors through multiple scholarship opportunities, research participation opportunities, and internships.
- The program prepares students for careers through a very applied curriculum, research participation opportunities and internships.
Attracting New Students
We support rigorous geology classes with about 350 students total at six high schools. Students can receive university credit for our introductory physical geology class and the classes are also approved as physical science and laboratory science honors classes for admission the the University of California system. They therefore attract top, college-bound students. In fall 2013, of our 33 new freshmen geology majors, 11 came through the high school classes.
Supporting Our Majors
Scholarships - Departmental through the CSUB Geology NSF CREST grant, endowments, and alumni donations. School-Wide NSF LSAMP, NSF McNair. External AfricaArray, NSF, GSA, AAPG.
Preparing Students for Careers
Students in our program are prepared to work as professional geologist or to pursue graduate degrees in their field.