Making Change Happen

Part of the InTeGrate Grand Valley State University Program Model

High-Level Project Timeline

Year 1, Winter 2015 (March to May): Wrote a new program and course syllabi, contacted 2YCs

  • Reviewed syllabi for existing courses, pass rate data for state exam, role of courses in meeting SPA requirements and INTASC standards and discussed evaluation plan and the possible content and pedagogy of two new courses.
  • Developed and submitted new Syllabus of Record (SOR) for two new science methods courses, SCI 440 Physics and Chemistry in Secondary Education and SCI 450 Earth and Life Science in Secondary Education.
  • Submitted proposal for new program (major) in Integrated Science in secondary education.
  • Project leader met with faculty from Muskegon Community College (MCC) and Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) and established goals, shared syllabi, and discussed transfer agreements. Planned and ran a two-day field trip to Paleozoic strata of eastern Illinois basin for students from all three institutions.

Year 1, Spring & Summer 2015 (May through August): Planned details of content and pedagogy, more 2YC

  • Outlined weekly content and pedagogy for new courses. Revised existing Lesson Plan Rubric to include a measure for addressing NGSS and integration between science disciplines.
  • Project leader and 2YC faculty designed a two-day field trip to the Marquette geosyncline, visited field stops, revised student expectations. Began advising incoming MCC transfer student.

Year 1, Fall 2015 (September through December): collaborated with 2YCs

  • Faculty shared teaching resources and scholarship opportunities for transfer students. Prepared advising form for GRCC to GVSU students. GRCC prepared draft transfer agreement for geology at GVSU.

Year 2, Winter 2016 (January through April): defined measures for courses and agreements with 2YCs

  • GVSU faculty shared resources to measure level of inquiry. Collected concept inventories. Drafted revised rubric for lesson plans. Equip rubric discussed.
  • Collected data on transfer students into GVSU geology. Prepared draft transfer agreement with MCC. Ran joint trips with students to Paleozoic rocks of eastern Illinois Basin.

Year 2 2016, Spring & Summer 2016 (May through August): proposals advanced and 2YC collaboration continued

  • New major in Integrated Science in secondary education approved. Begins in Fall 2017.
  • Proposals for two new courses approved by University Curriculum Committee.
  • Shared GSA OTF travel awards to 2YC partners. GRCC student received travel grant. Project leader met with MCC and GRCC faculty at GRCC and planned for fall and shared resources.

Year 2, Fall 2016 (September through December): used InTeGrate modules and tracked transfer students

  • Collecting data on students seeking Integrated Science endorsement. Planned ROTF with Katherine Ryker of Eastern Michigan University for the Earth Science Methods and the Mineral Resources modules.
  • Ran a two-day fieldtrip to the Marquette geosyncline attended by 4 faculty (2 on the project and two additional faculty beyond the original team), 20 GVSU students, 20 MCC students and 5 GRCC students. Shared course description and syllabus for k-8 Earth science course for pre-service teachers with GRCC faculty.

Key Aspects of the Program

Advice for Future
Implementations »

  • Administration within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences supported and encouraged the development of a new Integrated Science program/major.
  • The leadership of the chair of the Integrated Science program, Dr. Janet Vigna, was critical in guiding program changes through the labyrinth of curriculum review and approval.
  • The team had a "deep bench" that engaged in the project and gave ownership to all faculty. Three additional faculty at GVSU and three additional faculty at our 2YC partners added their expertise and energy to the original team.
  • Recent new hires at our two nearby 2YCs provided a clean slate to begin collaboration.
Faculty Reflections
and Stories »

Sustaining Change

We are fortunate to have the support of our Dean and the university. The university approved our new program and two new courses, and they are a permanent part of all students' curriculum. Changes in the content and pedagogy of the two new science methods courses will be based on data gained as we teach the courses. The Integrated Science faculty used a new lesson plan grading rubric that embraces NGSS and the integration of content between science disciplines. New, vibrant faculty at our nearby two-year community colleges seized the opportunity to establish curriculum agreements that better guide geology and science education majors as they start their education and transfer to GVSU.