Disconnects between Professors' Expectations and Students' Academic Abilities in an Undergraduate Geoscience Department

Poster Session Part of Friday Poster Session


Sarah Lynn Redding, University of Florida
Anita Marshall, University of Florida
Student success in geology and other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses can be negatively impacted by disconnects between professor expectations and student academic skills (Nicoll and Francisco, 2001; Bradford et al., 2018). Therefore, the objective of this geoscience education research is to identify perceived or actual mismatches between professor expectations of student academic abilities and their students' pre-existing academic abilities. When referencing professor expectations of student academic abilities, I explicitly refer to the skills and knowledge that professors expect their students to have upon admittance into their courses. To achieve this objective, I used a multi-phase approach that included administering surveys to professors and students in a geoscience department at an R1 university. Phase 1's survey identifies what, if any, weaknesses professors are seeing in their students, and I will present preliminary results from phase 1 of this research collected during the Spring 2022 semester. The overall goal of this research is to help bridge any gaps, either through sharing information with professors or assisting professors in determining appropriate curriculum changes. These changes should improve student success in their geology and STEM classes and encourage better overall program outcomes and goals.