Programs Supporting Minority Students in Geoscience

There are successful efforts to attract and support diverse students learning about the Earth in many institutions around the country. The profiles in this collection can serve as models and inspiration for departments and programs that aspire to broaden participation in the geosciences.

The browse below makes use of the US Federal Government's classifications of minority-serving institutions (MSI).

JSU Students in the Meteorology Lab
SOLARIS Geo-Ventures Trip
SKC Hydrology Stdents
FVSU Student
2008 LSAMP Scholarship class at UNM


Results 1 - 10 of 39 matches

Temple University
The Math Mentor Program was developed at our large state-affiliated university as a mechanism to support students through the fundamental math courses required for the geoscience major. Math Mentors were junior or senior Geology or Environmental Science majors, and their role was to support students through development of study skills and support, not act as tutors.

Jackson State University
Jackson State University is a Historically Black University with an enrollment of around 9000 students. About 95% of their enrollment is African-American with almost all of the remainder being Caucasian. The Department of Physics, Atmospheric Science, and Geoscience offers BS degrees in Physics, Meteorology, and Earth System Science.

Fort Valley State University: CDEP
Geoscience is not an available major at Fort Valley State and there is no Geology department. But participants in the Cooperative Development Energy Program (CDEP) can obtain a degree in geoscience from a partner institution in addition to a degree in Math or Chemistry from FVSU through its 3+2 dual degree transfer program. In addition, the program provides a number of support mechanisms for the participants, who are all members of underrepresented minorities or women.

El Paso Community College: SOLARIS
The SOLARIS (Student Opportunity for Learning Advanced Research In geoScience) program is aimed to increase participation, particularly for minority students, in the geosciences at El Paso Community College (EPCC). Funded by NSF's Opportunities in Enhancing Diversity in the Geosciences (OEDG) program, SOLARIS has two primary facets. First, workshops for local high school instructors and EPCC faculty provide educators with strategies to engage students with active learning techniques, information about geoscience careers, and possible degree plans through EPCC and the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP). Secondly, as a bridge between the A.S. and B.S. degrees, the program allows up to 10 EPCC geological science majors per year to conduct geological research using equipment and facilities at both EPCC and UTEP and receive mentoring by both instructors at both institutions.

University of California-Riverside
UCR is one of the most ethnically diverse universities in the US, ranked equal 12th by the US News & World Report in 2013. This situation reflects the commitment of the university to promoting and maintaining diversity, as well as the campus location within inland southern California. Overall, 38.4% of the undergraduate population in Fall 2012 identified as belonging to underrepresented ethic minorities (African-American, Latino/Chicano or Native American). The Department of Earth Sciences at UCR has existed, in various guises, since the founding of the university in the 1950s. Today, we have 56 undergraduate majors in our Geology and Geophysics programs.

Inter American University of Puerto Rico-Bayamon
Inter American University of Puerto Rico, Bayamón Campus (IAUPRBC) is a private, non-profit Hispanic Serving Institution. The IAUPRBC is the largest private institution of higher education in Bayamón, with an enrollment of more than 5,000 (92.4% undergraduate students). The IAUPRBC serves a broad spectrum of Hispanic students whose learning styles require a variety of experiences in and outside of the classroom. Many require tutoring in one or more basic skills. The student failure rate in gatekeeper courses stands at 57%, hindering advancement to upper level courses and increasing attrition among first and second year students. In response to these challenges, IAUPRBC have been developing activities geared to create the conditions for student-centered education, especially in traditional gatekeeper courses required in engineering, science, and technology programs. Faculty and infrastructure have been reinforced and undergraduate research has been promote as a key factor in STEM fields. IAUPRBC has been implementing distance learning courses and is committed to academic innovation. Currently, IAUPRBC houses an advanced technological infrastructure, with both Internet and Intranet capabilities, on a fiber optic backbone. There are over 600 workstations, with wireless access points strategically placed for users to connect to with their own portable computers. The Campus library has been transformed into the Information Access Center (IAC). A new database integrating all titles in the university system has been implemented and a virtual library can be accessed through the Internet and the university Intranet. Also, IAUPRBC has a Tutoring Center to help students on English, Spanish and Math skills and a "Internship, Exchange and Partial-Employment Office" to support students on their search for these activities to complete their education. The institution offers a Bachelor degree in Environmental Sciences and a Master degree in Environmental Sciences and Ecology.

Humboldt State University
Humboldt State University is the northernmost campus of the California State University system located on the rural north coast, ~300 miles north of San Francisco. Campus demographics are changing rapidly to better reflect that of California. As Fall 2013, HSU was eligible for recognition as an Hispanic Serving Institution. The Geology Department has ~110 majors, ~10 of which are MS students, ~85 Geology BS/BA, and ~15 Geology BA-Geosciences Option. The Geosciences Option was revamped from a Geoscience Education Option that never gained viable enrollments in part due to changes in the Education program.

Western Kentucky University
Western Kentucky University (WKU) is a public, comprehensive university of over 21,000 students. It is located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and it is one of nine state-supported institutions in Kentucky's postsecondary system. The university was founded as a Normal school in 1906. Over time it evolved beyond its Teacher College roots to become, in 1966, a University with six distinct colleges. It is currently the largest four-year comprehensive university in Kentucky. The Geology program at WKU is part of the Department of Geography and Geology and WKU's Ogden College of Science and Engineering. The Department is one of the oldest at WKU with roots traceable back to WKU's early Teacher College years. The department has always had a strong connection to the cave and karst landscape of south-central, KY, including Mammoth Cave National Park; the karst resources of the region have been a major attraction and an important focus of the department's activities and its educational programs. The Department of Geography and Geology currently has 206 active majors among four programs: geography (61 majors), geology (63 majors), meteorology (70 majors) and geographic information systems (12 majors). The demographic make-up of the Department is similar to College of Science and Engineering; approximately two-thirds of the students are male and 80% of the students are white. These data differ from the University as a whole, which although predominantly white (79%), has more female undergraduate students (58%) than male students (42%).

Northern Virginia Community College
We are a large, multi-campus community college in the suburban fringe of a major metropolitan area (Washington, D.C.). We grant A.S. degrees in Science (among many other degrees), and so any student who intends to major in geology would first get an A.S. with us, then transfer to a four-year college for their B.S. degree in geology.

California State University, Bakersfield
What are the demographics of your institution and do the students in the program reflect that? Of the 8,520 students matriculated at California State University, Bakersfield in fall 2012, 53% were from groups underrepresented in the sciences, engineering, and mathematics, with Hispanics at 45% the largest group, and Blacks and Native Indians making up another 8%. Fall 2012 undergraduate geology major demographics are 37% Hispanic, 2% Black, and 1% American Indian, a reasonably close reflection of the demographics of the university as a whole. How many majors? In Fall 2013, there were well over 100 undergraduate geology majors and about 45 graduate students. What degree programs are available in the department? BS Geology, BA Geology, MS Geology Is there a historical reason for the program's existence? The undergraduate program was originally a broad-based BS in Earth Science degree that was among the first programs offered when the university was founded in the 1970s. In the mid-1980s, the program was changed to a more focused, traditional BS Geology degree to better meet the needs of employers in the region. The MS Geology program was also initiated in the mid-1980s at the request of employers and professionals in the region.