Focus Group 1: Academic Administrators: Design, Implementation and Institutionalizing Geoscience Programs for a Diverse Geoscience Workforce
August 5-7, 2015
Topics to be Addressed
1. The Current State--Opportunities to Engage the Geosciences
- Next Generation Science Standards--students will be enrolling from K-12 with new exposure and understanding of the Earth system
- The Atmosphere, Climate, Oceans, Earth Science, and Energy literacies: outline the "Big Ideas" that every citizen should know
- Opportunities to address significant societal issues (e.g. resources, hazards, community planning) that impact your students and the communities you serve
- Pedagogically, the Geosciences offer approaches and "ways of knowing" that complement and supplement other STEM approaches; e.g. observation of complex natural systems, interpretive and historical approaches; students deserve having access to numerous problem-solving strategies
- Expanding workforce needs in the Geosciences in both traditional job sectors (exploration, environmental consulting) and in emerging workforce needs (e.g., Earth science education, as a foundation for environmental law, public policy and planning, business, etc.)
2. The Desired State--Enhancing Ways the Geosciences can Serve Your Institutional Mission
- Preparing students for the future work force;
- informing them of the possibilities
- preparing students for success
- Addressing societal issues (sustainability, public health, economic welfare)
- Place-based learning--optimize learning about your geographic and geologic setting
- Certification or accreditation programs that would be desirable (e.g. GIS certification)
3. Closing the Gap--Models for Geoscience Instruction in 2YCs and MSIs
A Focus on Your Students--What can be done to ensure success in light of:
- The profile of your students (their demographics, where do they come from)
- Their aspirations and motivations
- Barriers to entering Geoscience and STEM disciplines
- Mentoring, career counseling opportunities; Student Success programs?
- Geoscience disciplinary content/concept mastery and skill development"Soft skills"--communication, quantitative, information, etc.
- Professional or "Soft Skill" development; communication, quantitative, intrapersonal skills
How Can Earth Science Serve Your Institution and Community?
- Service Learning Opportunities
- Environmental Justice
- Partnerships with local government, NGOs, corporations for internships, research opportunities
- "Alternative" career paths that require knowledge of Geoscience
- Earth Science Education, Environmental Law, Public Policy and Planning, Business (e.g. insurance industries,....)
What Can We Do to Facilitate Earth Science Education on Your Campus?
- What are the opportunities and needs on your campus?
- What do you need for faculty training and professional development?
- What do you need in the way of facilities: classrooms/labs; teaching materials and lab resources; computers and computer-based learning resources; equipment (could be shared with other departments); field instruction opportunities?
- How can we institutionalize and sustain Geoscience instruction on your campus?
4. Pulling it Together: A Model for Geoscience Instruction at MSIs/2YCs
"What Works" in Recruiting and Retaining Students in GEO and STEM disciplines
- Programs on your campus that support student success
- Pedagogies that are demonstrated to be effective
- Beyond the Curriculum--Whole student approach
- Advising, Mentoring, Internship opportunities
- Ideal Pathway Towards Student Success
Resources That Are Available
- InTeGrate, Cutting Edge, Strong Department Programs
- Professional Societies, Geoscience facilities, Geoscience Industry