Getting (and Keeping) Northern Colorado Students in the Door: Broadening Participation by Attracting and Supporting All Students

Monday 2:45pm Northrop Hall: 340


William Hoyt, University of Northern Colorado
Byron Straw, University of Northern Colorado
Cindy Shellito, University of Northern Colorado
Julie Sexton, University of Colorado at Boulder
Steven Anderson, University of Northern Colorado
Graham Baird, University of Northern Colorado
Strategies to broaden participation in geosciences are varied. Many in the geosciences know we can do a better job, but how? The InTeGrate implementation program at the University of Northern Colorado (UNCo) included components to recruit and retain more diverse geoscience students through visits to regional high schools and community colleges, as well as summer recruiting field trips. Moreover, to help with retaining students through to graduation, we developed and delivered a faculty workshop on advising underrepresented students who often bring cultural traditions that are unfamiliar to faculty.

We established connections with eight local high schools and community colleges, and visited with a total of 918 students. Faculty participating in this outreach effort highlighted their own applied scientific research and student employment prospects in environmental science, geology, and meteorology. Of those 918 students, 60 indicated interest in UNCo. We also ran four field trips in Colorado during the summer of 2016. The trips attracted 54 participants in total, including high school students, community college students, university STEM majors from fields other than environmental science or geoscience, K-12 teachers, professionals from our Dean's office, and students from underrepresented groups. Though enrollment factors are complex, we are excited to report that in fall 2016, we doubled the number of students admitted to Earth Science majors from 30 incoming students in 2014 to 60.

Building a Diversity Awareness workshop allowed STEM faculty and administrators opportunities to discuss factors that promote retention of underrepresented minorities and women in science, and best practices in student advising. Many cited the use of recruiting/retention information as very helpful, and also commented favorably regarding the opportunities for discussion among colleagues. Faculty identified how they would apply this workshop to their teaching and advising of all students.

Presentation Media

Presentation Slides (Acrobat (PDF) 19MB Apr18 18)