A unique collaborative online blended teaching delivery brings cutting edge climate change science from a large research university (Penn State) to a historically black colleges and university (Fort Valley State).

Monday 3:15pm REC Center Large Ice Overlook Room
Oral Presentation Part of Course Design and Interactive Learning


Aditya Kar, Fort Valley State University
Tim Bralower, Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus
David Bice, Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus
Understanding the science of climate change is of utmost importance for the next generation of students to be competitive in the global job market as they most likely have to deal with sudden and perhaps severe climatic shifts. Smaller and minority serving institutions such as Fort Valley State University (FVSU), an HBCU in Georgia, does not have the resources to develop a course on the evolving science of climate change. A dual degree program between Penn State and FVSU has been in operation for over a decade with close to 10 graduates over this time span. A joint NASA grant between these two institutions has now enabled the faculty to work together to bring a climate change course developed at Penn State to FVSU. The course Earth Futures has an online lecture and a weekly face to face lab. In the first offering of this blended course (Sp2015), five academically gifted FVSU students enrolled in the chemistry and biology programs experienced a course design different from what are used to at FVSU. However, once exposed, they rose to the challenge and performed the same tasks as their Penn State peers such as weekly reading, laboratories and quizzes. By midterm all five students were making excellent progress. This experience provided the students who would be transferring to Penn State in a year, an understanding of expectation of how courses are delivered, thus making their transfer much smoother. This course can also serve as a great model for the rest of the country and the world how partnerships can bring opportunities of academic learning of the first order to students of smaller or minority-serving institutions; thus giving these students an access to the science and the knowledge, enabling them to enter the work force on equal footing as students from larger institutions.