A Program Model for Engaging a Community: Supporting and Advancing Geoscience Education in Two-year Colleges

Friday 11:30am-1:30pm UMC Aspen Rooms


Heather Macdonald, College of William and Mary
Eric Baer, Highline Community College
Jan Hodder, University of Oregon
John McDaris, Carleton College
Supporting and Advancing Geoscience Education in Two-year Colleges (SAGE 2YC) is a multi-year national professional development program for geoscience faculty in two-year colleges (2YCs) that enabled broad and diverse participation, widespread dissemination of resources, and leadership development of 2YC faculty. Our program model includes a national workshop to collect and synthesize resources with dissemination via workshops held in association with professional society meetings, regional workshops, local workshops, online resources, and webinars. The program provides opportunities for faculty to expand their disciplinary connections, learn from one another and from the research base, plan and implement instructional and programmatic improvements, grow as leaders, and develop sustainable professional communities.

Participation in SAGE 2YC has been broad and diverse. More than 400 geoscience professionals have attended a SAGE 2YC workshop or webinar, including faculty from 2YCs and four-year colleges and universities (4YCUs), and professional organizations or employers. Workshop participants came from ~200 institutions, primarily 2YCs and some 4YCUs. The workshops are effective in reaching women, underrepresented minorities, and adjunct faculty. The 2014 regional and local workshops had high participation of adjunct faculty (37% and 35%, respectively). The local workshops, provide a mechanism to engage full-time and adjunct faculty in regions around the country as well as leadership opportunities for 2YC faculty. In a three-year period, SAGE 2YC will have supported 17 local workshops, designed and led by teams of 2YC faculty. Webinars and online resources on topics related to supporting student success and workforce and careers, developed in association with the workshops, expand program reach (http://serc.carleton.edu/sage2yc/index.html). Factors contributing to program success include 1) leaders with 2YC experience; 2) a focus on topics of interest and importance to 2YCs; 3) well-designed workshops that engage participants and include individual action planning; 4) multiple ways to engage faculty; and 5) mentored leadership development for 2YC geoscience faculty.