Supporting and Advancing Geoscience Education in Two-Year Colleges (SAGE 2YC): Building a Foundation for Change through a Network of Regional Communities of Practice
One goal of SAGE 2YC: Faculty as Change Agents is to develop regional communities that can promote a cycle of change through activities that allow members to share experiences, synthesize expertise, and document their collective knowledge related to teaching all students and moving them along the path to geoscience careers. In the fall of 2016, ten teams of two-year college faculty Change Agents each ran a regional workshop. The workshops aligned with the guiding principles of the project, specifically, to implement high-impact practices that support the academic success of all students, promote professional pathways of students into geoscience, and broaden participation in the geosciences. The one-day workshops enabled the leaders to gain ownership of the changes they aimed to implement at their institutions, to propagate the new knowledge and skills they had gained from the project to their peers, and to begin to build their regional communities of practice. The workshops were held across the country in the ten regions; workshops involved over 130 two-year college faculty and other participants. Each workshop had its own goals with many of the workshops focused on using active learning strategies in the classroom and other strategies related to student success, such as promoting metacognition and grit and supporting student transfer. In preparation for these workshops, the teams of faculty leaders participated in a multi-day workshop on these topics, shared their workshop plans with each other, and offered other teams feedback on their plans; project leaders also offered suggestions. Workshop participants found value in hearing different perspectives from their faculty colleagues as well as other participants such as counselors from advising centers. We anticipate that these regional events will contribute to the continuing development of communities of two-year college geoscience faculty working collaboratively to support the success of all students.