Lessons Learned

Throughout interviews with key stakeholders at project institutions, key themes emerged as critical to student success in the geosciences.

Geoscience Awareness and Opportunities

A crucial aspect of getting students into geoscience is to build their awareness of geoscience as a potential career path. The institutions have different approaches to building this awareness: external programming, incorporating geosciences into related curriculum, collaborating with K-12 institutions. In addition to building awareness, institutions offer opportunities for students to build their geoscience skills.

Clark Atlanta University
Intentionally building awareness of the geosciences, especially earlier on in students' lives allows students to explore a wide variety of career paths.
Coppin State University
Hands-on experiences in the geosciences engage students while building awareness of geoscience career pathways.
Florida A&M University
Career fairs for high schoolers are an opportunity to introduce students to geoscience career paths
Savannah State University
There are many avenues to build student awareness of the geosciences, such as Mobile STEM labs, Open Campus Day, and coursework.
Tennessee State University
Providing geoscience curricular options provides explicit geoscience awareness for students.
Xavier University of LA
There is a large population of STEM-interested students at XULA, positioning the University well to introduce students to geoscience.

Connections between K-12 and Universities

K-12 and University educators and administrators see value in developing intentional connections. These connections allow for the exchange of content knowledge, awareness of institutional and student needs, and programmatic information.

Coppin State University
Stakeholders found the strong relationship with FAMU faculty invaluable.
Florida A&M University
Stakeholders found the strong relationship with FAMU faculty invaluable.
Tennessee State University
K-12 and HBCU connections can build better STEAM within both educational contexts.
Xavier University of LA
Existing communications with some K-12 stakeholders allows for programmatic information exchange and could be expanded to provide deeper exchanges.

Professional Development for K-12 Educators

There are limited opportunities for K-12 educators to receive professional development (PD) in the geosciences. Building and expanding formal PD opportunities increases the confidence and ability of K-12 educators to teach geoscience content and increases awareness around geoscience as a career path.

Clark Atlanta University
Expanding the number of STEM education certifications course work supports provides future educators with more preparation.
Savannah State University
Teacher education programming can be deepened to provide more geoscience content knowledge to educators.
Tennessee State University
Professional development opportunities for current educators within geoscience expands the geoscience content in their courses.

Financial and Resource Supports

Students and faculty are better able to explore and build opportunities in geoscience with intentional financial and resource supports.

Clark Atlanta University
High quality, high integrity curricula and programming necessitate financial and resource support to develop.
Florida A&M University
Long-term funding allows for programs that better support under-represented students throughout their education experience.
Savannah State University
More extensive financial and resource supports would allow the expansion of the focus of geoscience efforts at Savannah State University and within Savannah.
Xavier University of LA
Deepening the support available to faculty allows them to better fulfill the numerous responsibilities they hold.