Expanding HBCU Pathways for Geoscience Education
Thursday 3:15pm Tate B20
Oral Session Part of Thursday A: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Sue Ebanks, Savannah State University
Dr. Edith Davis, Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University
Reginald Archer, Tennessee State University
Over the past 40-plus years of recruitment activities and tracking of racial demographics, there has been an obvious consistent under-representation of African Americans in the Geosciences, both as a field and for the subfields that comprise the Geosciences. Recruitment efforts in some sub-fields have produced occasional increases, but there is clearly a need to reassess the approach for supporting the continued matriculation toward careers in the Geosciences, including Geoscience Education. Further, there needs to be an examination of the best practices, or at least reoccurring themes, for those institutions of higher learning that are producing the bulk of the African American Geoscientists: the HBCUs. Secondly, there needs to be an evaluation of the first exposure to the Geosciences: middle-grades teacher preparation. The purpose of this 3-year, NSF-funded project was to deliver a strategic, multi-dimensional, scalable instrument to 1) positively impact middle school teacher preparation curricula and professional development activities and 2) improve minority access to the geosciences. In this presentation, we will present major findings from the evaluation of 6 unique HBCUs, as the foundation for planned next steps, which include meaningful collaborative research at the intersection of the Geosciences with K12 educators and the broader community.