Coppin State University

Institutional Context

Coppin State University (CSU), a Historically Black Institution in a dynamic urban setting, serves a multi-generational student population and provides education opportunities while promoting lifelong learning. Coppin State has a culturally rich history as an institution that delivers quality educational programs and community outreach services. Additionally, the university fosters leadership, social responsibility, civic and community engagement, cultural diversity and inclusion, and economic development. Named in honor of Fanny Jackson Coppin, an outstanding African-American educator, CSU has reaffirmed its dedication to excellence in teaching and student success. The university offers 53 majors and 9 undergraduate degree programs. As a fully accredited institution, Coppin State continues to grow and diversify its academic programs to contribute to the workforce demands of the State of Maryland and the country at large.

Existing Student Supports

Strategies to create pathways

Administrator-Faculty Connections

The administrators at Coppin State University are knowledgeable about the science programming at the college due to their communication with science faculty. They maintain consistent and constant contact with faculty in the geosciences; more specifically, the change agents. Additionally, administrators attend campus science events and those that are offered through science industries. Through the engagement of faculty, students, and administrators, Coppin State University remains committed to geoscience education.

Mentorship and Career Support

The small size of the institution allows faculty to provide individualized support to students. Faculty play an active role in mentoring students and focus on supporting them to achieve their long-term goals. One component of this is linking students to different career pathways which faculty achieve through one-on-one advising and through class discussions. The faculty rely on personal experience, observation, and communications with other stakeholders to provide students with relevant and current information about career pathways in the geosciences (e.g., internships, visiting speakers, writing recommendations). Faculty are encouraged to provide this mentorship as it one of the domains considered in the tenure and promotion processes.

Summer Academic Success Academy (SASA)

Summer Academic Success Academy (SASA) is a five-week summer residential program designed to help incoming high school students make a smooth transition to college while earning college credits. SASA is open to all first-time, full-time new high school students on a first come, first served basis. This program is designed to assist with improving essential college readiness skills for college completion. Students receive an introduction to the academic, social, and recreational resources of the campus community. At the conclusion of the program students are connected to faculty, staff and peer mentors that serve as guides on their collegiate journey to success.


The Laboratory for Environmental Contaminants closely work with a number of environmental centers and other universities in several projects to address issues of emerging environmental concern. These relationships also provide CSU students with the opportunity to participate in research and internship programs that allow them to develop geoscience knowledge and skills in hands-on settings.

Specialized Support and Instructional Strategies

Student Airborne Science Activation for Minority Serving Institutions

Student Airborne Science Activation for Minority Serving Institutions (SaSa) is a NASA-funded 5 year project that involves Universities Space Research Association (USRA), Coppin State University, Hampton University, Howard University, Morgan State University, University of Maryland, Eastern Shore, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA Langley Research Center.The SaSa program draws on NASA SMD's (Science Mission Directorate's) unique assets (aircraft, aircraft sensors and experts) to create an effective learning environment, where students will take part in a paid summer internship for eight weeks. They will receive experiential learning delivered by NASA subject matter experts and guest lecturers. Students will also receive professional development training including scientific abstract writing, comprehensive literature review, networking, and professional presentations. More importantly, students will be connected to bridge programs (e.g., NASA internships, NASA Pathways, and NASA Student Airborne Research Program (SARP), and receive guidance and science counseling to keep them motivated and engaged in the Earth Science field through graduation, and ready to take the next step, including proceeding to a graduate school or taking up a STEM career.

The Laboratory for Environmental Contaminants (LEC)

The Laboratory for Environmental Contaminants (LEC) conducts research to advance knowledge in Monitoring and characterizing contaminants to fully understand their health impacts. The LEC research involves occurrence, fate, and transport of contaminants of emerging concern using socio-environmental synthesis approach and advanced analytical methods to study complex dimensions of water quality, social health, and air quality issues. The research enhances academic programs and fosters citizen education in such areas as contaminant science, environmental sustainability, and urban ecology.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Student Experiences Aboard Ships

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Student Experiences Aboard Ships (STEMSEAS) provides ship-based, 6-10 day exploratory experiences for undergraduates from diverse backgrounds aboard NSF-funded research vessels. Students will sail with experienced faculty mentors and engage in geoscience and oceanography activities (while also having fun)!

Baltimore Ecosystem Study

Coppin State has faculty who engage in research to support the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES). The (BES) began in 1998 with three questions to advance the understanding of urban areas as a novel and increasingly important ecosystem type: 1) Structure: What is the spatial and temporal patch structure of ecological, physical, and socio-economic factors in the urban ecosystem?, 2) Function: What are the fluxes of energy, matter, and populations in patches of the urban ecosystem?, and 3) People: What are the choices people and their organizations make that affect the urban ecosystem?BES educators and scientists work directly with students and schools in Baltimore to help bring science into the classroom and with government agencies, non-governmental organizations, communities and neighborhoods to use results from BES research to improve environmental quality and human health and well-being across the City.

Culturally Sustaining Practices Post-Baccalaureate Certificate program

The Culturally Sustaining Practices Post-Baccalaureate Certificate program is designed for teachers with immersive theory-to-action experiences that are critical to making educational excellence inclusive. Integrating improvement sciences and connected learning approaches, participants will have opportunities to explore critical theories in culturally sustaining pedagogies; cultivate high-tech, high-touch, and high-impact practices; and demonstrate competency mastery aiming to simultaneously improve teaching effectiveness and student achievement.

Culturally Responsive Practices MicroCredential

The Culturally Responsive Practices MicroCredential is designed for new teachers to develop competencies in Culturally Responsive Practices (CRPs) to create learning environments and curricular activities that are equitable and supportive of all learners. Teachers will 1) identify & evaluate principles and strategies of CRPs 2) demonstrate CRPs in their classrooms 3) evaluate the impact of CRPs on school activities to support student learning and inform colleagues' professional development.The Culturally Responsive Practices MicroCredential is designed for new teachers to develop competencies in Culturally Responsive Practices (CRPs) to create learning environments and curricular activities that are equitable and supportive of all learners. Teachers will 1) identify & evaluate principles and strategies of CRPs 2) demonstrate CRPs in their classrooms 3) evaluate the impact of CRPs on school activities to support student learning and inform colleagues' professional development.


Mathletics is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and designed to immerse middle grades youth (current 6th, 7th, & 8th graders) in the rapidly growing world of sports data analytics and build their knowledge of statistical concepts and the data science process. The program is particularly focused on engaging African American and Latinx youth, in an effort to deepen their STEM knowledge and introduce them to STEM fields. Activities are led by Coppin faculty, local math teachers (high-school or college level) and Coppin undergraduate students majoring in a STEM field. Students not only learn practical skills, such as how to collect data and perform statistical analysis of the data but also engage in an end-of-camp, personal statistics project in a field of interest to them. The program exposes students to campus recreational activities, athletic coaches, and data collection and its use in decision making by sports teams.

AgDiscovery Program

The AgDiscovery Program, through the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, supports high school students in exploring careers in plant, animal, and environmental sciences and agribusiness through experiential learning and workshops. While living on Coppin's campus, Students learn directly from USDA scientists the ways in which the U.S. Government protects America's food system, and they also interact with faculty and the neighboring community. Students are engaged in a variety of laboratory exercises, activities, and field trips to agricultural research centers and laboratories.


Geoscience Awareness & Opportunities: hands-on

Hands-on experiences sill be beneficial as mofd new geoscience curricular options are trialed to determine early the culture and student audience. The exposure to some of the required experiences that are concepts in related geoscience courses are sometimes difficult for CSU students to relate to because of the location of the college (urban environment) and/or the place-based culture of the student. Faculty have experience integrating hands-on activities and experiences in their courses which they can leverage in incorporating hands-on geoscience opportunities for their students.

Connections between K-12 and Universities

There are a number of efforts Coppin State makes to support geosciences within K-12 schools and among K-12 educators. Though, there is a persistent lack of awareness of these efforts and the opportunities available to them. Strengthened connections or communications between K-12 schools and Coppin State could allow for a greater awareness of these efforts and opportunities while building geoscience knowledge amongst K-12 stakeholders.