Essays on Geoscience at Two-Year Colleges
Participants in several workshops have contributed essays touching on various challenges and opportunities of teaching at two-year colleges.Help
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In-Class Group Exercises in Introductory Geology part of SAGE 2YC:Workshops:Supporting Student Success in Geoscience at Two-year Colleges:Essays
Fred Marton, Bergen Community College
One of the key challenges that I face in my introductory geology class is trying to show students who are not necessarily interested in science (and who sometimes do not have a good background in science and math) that the basic concepts we are trying to learn about are not overly complicated or specialized. To address this, I have used in-class group exercises and worksheets to introduce many topics. I want the students to use these exercises as a way of teaching themselves and therefore they are not asked to answer questions on topics that we have already spent time on (unless they have actually done the assigned reading). Instead, I present simplified scenarios or analogies that they can figure out by themselves and then I go on to explain and we explore how they are analogous to the topic of interest.
Promoting Student Success using Universal Design to Decrease Barriers in Higher Education part of SAGE 2YC:Workshops:Supporting Student Success in Geoscience at Two-year Colleges:Essays
Wendi J. W. Williams, South Texas College
I began teaching as a graduate student, and have since continued to grow in my understanding of content as well as educational design and delivery as faculty contributing to both 2-year and 4-year public institutions. Through the years I have become increasingly aware of the many kinds of diversity in my students: learning preferences, amount of college preparation, first generation college-bound, ages represented by concurrent enrollment as high school students through retirees, persons with disabilities, English language learners, and military active duty and/or veteran status. Early in my association with UA-Little Rock, Earth Science faculty joined a pilot program with the Disability Resource Center. "Project PACE" was funded by the U.S. Dept. of Ed and UALR to teach faculty to use Universal Design techniques in order to reduce barriers for the majority of students while increasing access to higher education. NCES (2013) indicates that students with some college courses or who achieve degrees become members of the workforce at higher rates. If redesigning our courses lower barriers, then our 2YC population benefits even more in the long term.
Engagement Is My Key to Student Success part of SAGE 2YC:Workshops:Supporting Student Success in Geoscience at Two-year Colleges:Essays
Kristie Bradford, The Lone Star College System
Like many two-year colleges, my students form a diverse population. I have students from just out of high school to those nearer to retirement. Approximately a third of my students are the first generation in their family to attend college. A slim majority of my students are white, many are Latinos, a few are of Asian or African descent. The majority of my students work at least part-time; however, some work full-time. Many are parents. As a result, their educational experience is often quite challenging to them; and therefore, I must give them the greatest possible opportunity to learn in the classroom and to have a diverse approach to teaching each class.
A New Geoscience Program in Energy and Sustainability Management part of SAGE 2YC:Workshops:Supporting Student Success in Geoscience at Two-year Colleges:Essays
Kim Frashure, Bunker Hill Community College
In 2012, I co-designed and launched a new certificate program in Energy and Sustainability Management (ESM) at Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC). BHCC's mission statement highlights sustainability and, the goal of the ESM certificate program is to enhance marketability of graduates for jobs in the emerging fields of "green" facilities operation and renewable energy services. BHCC is a large, urban campus located in Boston, Massachusetts, with a current enrollment of 13,504 students (1). We are among the most diverse institutions in New England with 830 international students from 94 countries speaking 75 different languages (1). Opportunities exist at BHCC to recruit and develop a largely under-explored, new pool of diverse geoscientists. However, urban community college (CC) students who are interested in a geoscience career often possess challenges such as academic deficiencies in mathematics & English, and a lack of awareness about academic and career pathways, mentorships and resources. The ESM program was designed to include the following to ensure the success of our diverse student population: innovative curriculum and skills in energy and sustainability, an industry-based advisory board, a freshmen science seminar, and accelerated and contextualized learning in English.
Techniques I Use to Help My Students Think About Their Learning part of SAGE 2YC:Workshops:Supporting Student Success in Geoscience at Two-year Colleges:Essays
Karen Kortz, Community College of Rhode Island
A lifelong skill is for students to think about their learning, or be metacognitive about it. Although metacognition ties directly to student success, it is often not taught, and it is a skill that many two-year college students lack. One of my goals is to purposefully structure my courses to help students focus on and be more aware of their own learning.
Writing research-supported learning material for introductory geosciences part of SAGE 2YC:Workshops:Supporting Student Success in Geoscience at Two-year Colleges:Essays
Jessica Smay, San Jose City College
Jessica J Smay, San Jose City College Download this essay (Acrobat (PDF) 8kB Jun13 13) Writing a Lecture Tutorial Workbook: Lecture Tutorials are 1 to 3 page worksheets that use different questioning approaches, ...
Coyote in the classroom part of SAGE 2YC:Workshops:Supporting Student Success in Geoscience at Two-year Colleges:Essays
Ethan Reese-Whiting, Northwest Arkansas Community College
My instructional approach has evolved to focus on active and inquiry-based learning as a means of exploring concepts in the general geology classroom. This has grown out of my involvement with the Eight Shields model of the learning journey and art of mentoring as described in "Coyote's Guide to Connecting with Nature" by Jon Young, Ellen Haas, and Evan McGown. While I am still in the early stages of adapting this model to the traditional classroom setting, I believe its approach has value in the general geology classroom as a means of pulling at students' edges of understanding and inspiring their curiosity rather than pushing them toward specific goalposts via the traditional lecture model. The application of this approach also forces me to discern between the material that is "need to know" versus that which is "nice to know." This helps provide focus in the classroom and reduces the chances to overwhelm students with minutiae they can easily find in the textbook.
Using On Course Principles to Support Student Success part of SAGE 2YC:Workshops:Supporting Student Success in Geoscience at Two-year Colleges:Essays
Al Trujillo, Palomar College
Palomar College faculty have recently received four-day On Course Workshop training on incorporating On Course strategies in their classrooms. On Course is a series of learning strategies for empowering students to become active, responsible learners. There is abundant data that demonstrates how On Course active learning strategies have increased student retention and success. Dr. Skip Downing details On Course strategies in his textbook, On Course: Strategies for Creating Success in College and in Life (Cengage Learning), which is used in college success courses.
Local Rock Outcrop Project in Physical Geology & Historical Geology part of SAGE 2YC:Workshops:Supporting Student Success in Geoscience at Two-year Colleges:Essays
Susan Conrad, Dutchess Community College
One way I get Physical Geology & Historical Geology students in my mid-Hudson Valley community college to apply new concepts is by giving them the option of studying a local rock outcrop for their final project. The process is really a mini-independent study as students apply what they learn in class about minerals, rocks, maps, geologic processes, and plate tectonics to "their" outcrop. I visit many of the students at their outcrops. Students can also share their own videos and photos of their site visits with me. The geology of most of the outcrops has not been recently described or interpreted in the geologic literature, or even in local hiking guidebooks, in any meaningful way, so students really must make their own observations and interpret them in order to unravel the geologic history of their outcrop.
InTeGrate Liaison and SAGE2YC Advisory Board Member from Pasadena City College part of SAGE 2YC:Workshops:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
Elizabeth Nagy, Pasadena City College
In addition to being an advisory board member for SAGE2YC, I am a co-PI on the NSF-funded, five-year InTeGrate project that aims to improve geoscience literacy and build a workforce that can make use of geoscience to solve societal issues. My role is to oversee the involvement of 2-year colleges (2YCs) and to be certain that issues unique to 2YCs are identified and considered during the program development, testing, and dissemination. As such I am a liaison between the InTeGrate and SAGE2YC groups, and am very excited to be involved in both programs.
Successful academic transfer, job-ready skills lacking part of SAGE 2YC:Workshops:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
Renee Faatz, Snow College
Snow College has a longstanding reputation for producing geology majors that are well prepared for transfer. The strengths of our little geology program (I am a one person department) include recruiting good students and major's courses that are rigorous and focus on fieldwork. In addition, maintaining good relationships with four-‐year institutions assures that my students succeed after transfer.
Pairing 2YCS with research-focused universities part of SAGE 2YC:Workshops:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
John Taber, IRIS Consortium
Given the value that has been shown for early research experiences for undergraduates, including for students who have yet to decide on a major, IRIS would like to partner with other organizations to develop, or help build on a student research program that integrates research opportunities at two-year and four-year schools. We have experience running a national distributed REU program for upper-level students with math, physics and/or geoscience background, but need to learn more about the needs and interests of first and second year students, as our current program has evolved into one where most participants have completed their junior year...
Texas A&M Geosciences and the increasing role of transfer students part of SAGE 2YC:Workshops:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
Eric Riggs, Humboldt State University
Texas A&M University at College Station is the flagship university for the Texas A&M System, and as such is a major destination for transfer students, both from inside and outside the A&M system. The College of Geosciences consists of four academic departments and many organized research centers spanning the core geoscience disciplines of Geology & Geophysics, Geography, Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences...
Education to dispel the misconception that Cape Cod is a big homogenous sandbox part of SAGE 2YC:Workshops:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
catherine etter, Cape Cod Community College
Cape Cod Community College offers an A.A. with matriculation agreements for a seamless transfer to 4 year institutions, a technical A.S. in Environmental Technology, and a selection of environmental certificates. Our educational packages support a diverse group of learners from adult students (15 years and up) with no science background to professional scientists/engineers with years of education and work experience...
Engaging Students Through Research at a 2YC part of SAGE 2YC:Workshops:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
I can honestly say that for the past six years of teaching full-time I have been excited about going to work every day. The prospect of having the opportunity to introduce something new to a group of students, or explain something that they take for "granite" everyday gives me as much excitement and contentment as my regular morning tall Starbuck House Blend coffee! I like to think that all college professors had that one instructor, professor, or advisor that made them want to go down the path of education and forgo the path of fame or fortune in the geosciences.
Interview with a scientist part of SAGE 2YC:Workshops:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
Amber Kumpf, Muskegon Community College
Overarching goal of the activity: help students be more informed about (1) their possible career options and about (2) specific skills they can develop to best prepare themselves for the workforce.
Engaging Rural Alaskan Students in Geoscience part of SAGE 2YC:Workshops:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
Todd Radenbaugh, University of Alaska Fairbanks
In rural Alaska, the teaching of university level geosciences at University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) has been limited to a few 100 and 200 level courses offered through the UAF's Collage of Rural and Community Development (CRCD). CRCD has 5 rural campuses across the state that traditionally has focused on English and math instruction, tribal management, and courses to meet community needs.
Hands-on Field Experience and Career Training in Oceanography part of SAGE 2YC:Workshops:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
Allison Beauregard, Northwest Florida State College
One of the biggest challenges we face as community college instructors is preparing our students for careers; this is especially true in geoscience fields because people are generally not familiar with the discipline and they do not typically know anyone who is a geoscientist. Further, community colleges do not typically have research programs where students can gain exposure to geoscience research and/or field applications.
Geoscience is by its nature interdisciplinary part of Integrate:Workshops and Webinars:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Essays
David Kobilka, Central Lakes College-Brainerd
David Kobilka, Earth Science, Central Lakes College-Brainerd Geoscience classes, especially those with an environmental component, are by nature interdisciplinary. For example, introductory Oceanography involves ...
2YC students from a 4YC chair's perspective part of SAGE 2YC:Workshops:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
Matthew Schwartz, The University of West Florida
As chairperson of a four year college department of Environmental Studies, I have two main types of interaction with 2YC students: 1) I have worked directly with 2YC students via a course designed as part of a collaborative ATE research grant and 2) we accept many 2YC students as transfers into University of West Florida...