Geosciences at Fort Valley State University
Overview and Context
Located in Fort Valley, GA, Fort Valley State University is a Historically Black educational institution with an enrollment of over 3,000 students. Approximately 85-90% of the student body are African American. The institution was founded in 1895 as a state land-grant university. Fort Valley is about 100 miles southeast of Atlanta and has a population of around 9,800 people.
Geoscience is not available as a major at Fort Valley State and there is no Geology department. Geology classes are offered as a part of the departments of Chemistry, Biology, and Mathematics & Physics.
Students enrolled in the Cooperative Development Energy Program (CDEP) can obtain a degree in geoscience from a partner institution in addition to a degree in Math or Chemistry from FVSU through its 3+2 dual degree transfer program.
Supporting Minority Students in Geoscience
Since the student body of FVSU is mostly African American and the institution does not have a department or major of geoscience, the challenges of supporting minority students interested in geoscience are somewhat different than at many other institutions. The Cooperative Development Energy Program (CDEP) is an avenue by which minority and female students at FVSU can eventually attain a geoscience degree and the program provides mentoring, internships, and other supports for program participants. The program only accepts a limited number of interested students each year and the process is competitive.