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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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.
Teaching the scientific method at a community college part of Integrate:Workshops and Webinars:Teaching the Methods of Geoscience:Essays
Pier Bartow, Klamath Community College
Teaching the scientific method at a community college Pier Bartow, Natural Resource Systems, Klamath Community College About 4 years ago our science department at Klamath Community College (KCC) decided to ...
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.
Supporting Student Success in Geosciences at 2YCs through Field Based Learning part of SAGE 2YC:Workshops:Supporting Student Success in Geoscience at Two-year Colleges:Essays
Ben Wolfe, University of Kansas Main Campus
Ben Wolfe, Metropolitan Community College Download this essay (Acrobat (PDF) 42kB Jun13 13) The overwhelming majority of students at my institution take geoscience courses (e.g. physical geology or physical ...
Supporting Geoscience Education at the University of Wisconsin-Richland part of SAGE 2YC:Workshops:Supporting Student Success in Geoscience at Two-year Colleges:Essays
Norlene Emerson, University of Wisconsin-Platteville
As I reflect on the goals that I have to support student success in geoscience courses, my thoughts first turn toward strategies I use to connect with each student as an individual learner. Since our students each have different skills, prior knowledge, capabilities, and reasons for being in school, I seek ways to provide content in visual, tactile, and audio means so that each student can connect to the material in the form that best suits their learning styles in order to optimize their learning. While content is important, the process of learning is just as important in an educational experience. Today's students are bombarded with information through social media, television, and print media often with sensationalized information concerning the Earth and the environment. Students need to develop their skills to assess critically what they hear and read especially concerning world issues such as mineral and energy resources, climate change, or mitigating natural disasters.
Steps towards Creating an Engaging Earth Science Curriculum part of SAGE 2YC:Workshops:Supporting Student Success in Geoscience at Two-year Colleges:Essays
Eriks Puris, Portland Community College
When I teach I strive to "put the phenomena first" and to "put observations before explanations" I do this not because I want to, but because I have found it to work. Initially in my teaching I stressed the understanding and appreciation of the basic physical and chemical processes which underlie the workings of the Earth, unfortunately this approach did not get me far with community college students. Eventually by trial and error I found it important to describe what I was explaining before explaining it. In retrospect this is less than surprising, but at the time it was an important realization to me! I have found students to be more likely to 'bite' and engage in learning if I begin with specific examples which are accessible and relevant to the students.
How do we prepare the next generation of geoscientists in this technology-driven world? We need to attract them in the first place. part of SAGE 2YC:Workshops:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
Suki Smaglik, Laramie County Community College
First of all, we need to have geoscience students in our classrooms in order to start to prepare them. Therefore, we need to start young. Kids love rocks; some collect rocks from the time they can crawl. The question we might ask is: Why does this interest stop rather than expand? Only a few of us who discovered our connection to Earth at a young age become geologists. We need to make it known that being a geoscientist is a good career. Geoscientists with an emphasis on environmental issues will always be employable, from field technicians to industry consultants. We have spent nearly two centuries despoiling North American resources. Problems related to resource extraction will take at least another century to set right. It is geoscientists who will be leading the way.
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 ...
Water Resources Management part of SAGE 2YC:Workshops:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
Mustapha Kane, Florida Gateway College
This project is a Water Resources Technology field work at the Suwannee River Water Management District monitoring stations in the Ichetucknee basin in North Florida.
Examinations of Time part of Rates and Time:Workshop 2012:Essays
Kevin Mullins, Coconino County Community College
Kevin Mullins, Science Department, Coconino Community College I teach several geology classes, a Natural Disasters class and a Planetary Science class as well at a small community college with a diverse student ...
Kaatje Kraft part of Affective Domain:Workshop 07:Workshop Participants
Kaatje van der Hoeven Kraft, Whatcom Community College
Physical Science, Mesa Community College Homepage What are the key issues related to the role of the affective domain in teaching geoscience that you would like to engage at the workshop? The cultural & ...
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.
Supporting Geoscience Student Success part of SAGE 2YC:Workshops:Supporting Student Success in Geoscience at Two-year Colleges:Essays
Anita Ho, Flathead Valley Community College
While I look forward to the workshop and learning about additional strategies and resources for effectively teaching the range of students I see, here are a few approaches I use to support student success.
Geology: The Foundation of Everyday Life part of SAGE 2YC:Workshops:Supporting Student Success in Geoscience at Two-year Colleges:Essays
Rob Rohrbaugh, El Paso Community College
Over the past five years I have been a geology instructor for college and high school students in the border town of El Paso, Texas. El Paso also consists of one of the largest military installations in the country. These demographic factors create a very diverse student population, both culturally and socio-economically. Coupled with the student demographic, El Paso also consists of some of the most ideal geological exposures in the country. My geologic study at the University of Texas El Paso provided immense local knowledge of the regional geologic setting, which has become my trademark as a field oriented instructor.
Activities That Support Student Success in Traditional and Online Introductory Geoscience Courses at Wake Tech part of SAGE 2YC:Workshops:Supporting Student Success in Geoscience at Two-year Colleges:Essays
Gretchen Miller, Wake Technical Community College
I teach two introductory geoscience courses at Wake Tech, GEL 120: Physical Geology and GEL 230: Environmental Geology. I teach both courses in traditional, seated environments as well as online. All of our introductory geoscience courses (including the online sections) require both lecture and laboratory sessions and are 4 credit hour courses.
How can we broaden participation in the geosciences? part of SAGE 2YC:Workshops:Supporting Student Success in Geoscience at Two-year Colleges:Essays
Kaatje van der Hoeven Kraft, Whatcom Community College
Broadening participation in the geosciences is both an issue of equity and practicality. Current job projections indicate that more than 90% of all STEM jobs will require at least some college within the next decade (Carnevale et al., 2010). By 2050, the current underrepresented population (Hispanic, African-American, Asian and mix of 2 or more races) will comprise nearly half of the population (Day, 1996), as a result, the current majority White population will no longer be the dominant contributors to the job market. If Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) jobs currently held by the majority are not replaced and filled by individuals in the growing minority groups, the nation faces a possible crisis. In addition, those who obtain a college degree are more likely to be flexible as the job market shifts and changes with technological advances (Carnevale et al., 2010). Supporting students in the general education science classes to be successful becomes a critical step toward obtaining a college degree, particularly those who move into STEM fields.
Ongoing Involvement and Taking Ownership of your Education: Homework, Feedback, and Interactions part of SAGE 2YC:Workshops:Supporting Student Success in Geoscience at Two-year Colleges:Essays
Steve May, Walla Walla Community College
As a full-time physical sciences instructor at Walla Walla Community College, a rural 2-year college, and an adjunct geology professor at Whitman College, a small liberal arts college, I work with two significantly different types of college students. I am often asked about the differences I observed between these two groups and the answer is a fairly simple one, and maybe not what people expect. Yes, the Whitman students probably have somewhat better entrance exam scores, but that is not what I believe to be the most significant difference – to me it is the fact that most of the 2-year students do not feel any real ownership of their education, whereas the Whitman students expect a great deal of themselves, as well as their professors. The way these differences manifest themselves is that a professor at Whitman can expect the vast majority of their students to show up for each class having fully prepared themselves for the topics to be discussed and ready to ask informed questions during class; whereas the 2-year college students need some strong inducements to learn the value of being prepared and what it feels like to have some sense of control and involvement regarding their education.
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.
Tracking the Pathways of Students During Their Transition to the Early Career Workforce part of SAGE 2YC:Workshops:Supporting Student Success in Geoscience at Two-year Colleges:Essays
Carolyn Wilson, American Geosciences Institute
The Workforce Program at the American Geosciences Institute has developed the National Geoscience Student Exit Survey in order to determine the relevant experiences in undergraduate and graduate school, as well as the immediate career plans of students finishing their bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degrees in the geosciences. Specifically, the survey addresses the students' education background, decision points for obtaining a geoscience degree, their geoscience co-curricular experiences, and their future plans for either entering graduate school or entering the workforce immediately after graduation. This work will begin to highlight the sets of experiences and expertise that the typical student graduating with a geoscience degree gained, as well as the industries that are effective at recruiting and the industries where students want to gain employment. Over time there may be some regional differences in these areas, along with differences based on the students' areas of focus for their degree. AGI's National Geoscience Student Exit Survey has been through a two-year piloting phase, and it was recently made available to any undergraduate or graduate department in the United States for spring 2013 graduates.
Creating lab tracks to accommodate diverse student populations in introductory laboratory classes part of SAGE 2YC:Workshops:Supporting Student Success in Geoscience at Two-year Colleges:Essays
Jacquelyn Hams, Los Angeles Valley College
This essay will focus on the efforts to improve student success in geology laboratory courses at Los Angeles Valley College, a diverse 2YC located in greater Los Angeles. The lab classes have traditionally used lab manuals and field trips as the primary methods of instruction.