Geoscience at Highline Community College

Eric Baer, Highline Community College
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What have you found to be most successful in broadening participation in the geosciences at your institution and what made it successful? Consider what aspects of this success are translatable to other two-year colleges.

The most successful action was offering many introductory classes. This allowed students to take multiple introductory level classes and raised enrollments throughout. Furthermore, by having students take multiple classes we usually have a few students in each class that have had a previous class and so are more advanced. These students raise the educational achievement of all by becoming informal leaders.

What are one or two examples of what you've done that has been successful in terms of promoting earth science literacy, developing the geoscience technical workforce (students entering the workforce following their associates degree), and/or preparing future geoscience majors?

  1. I have takes geoscience students on a field trip to visit an undergraduate friendly geoscience program so they can see the department, talk to students, and talk to advisors/faculty.
  2. To promote Earth Science literacy, our local geologic hazards class has been very beneficial, often getting news coverage and high enrollments.

What strategies have you or your program used to meet one or two of the challenging aspects of teaching at a two-year college?

The most notable strategy is MathPatch/the Math You Need When You Need It – providing support for students with quantitative skill deficiencies.

Describe one aspect about your experience/expertise related to geoscience education and/or broadening participation in two-year colleges that would be useful for others.

I think the development of a local geohazards class was is the expertise that would be most helpful, although I am not sure how unique it is.