Initial Publication Date: May 6, 2016

Making Change Happen

Part of the InTeGrate University Texas El Paso Program Model

Advice for Future Implementations »Below, we describe how the program was implemented and key aspects that contributed to the program's success.

High-Level Project Timeline

Fall 2014

  • Met with prospective EPCC and UTEP faculty to discuss teaching of modules on climate of change, earth materials and/or freshwater in their Fall 2014 classes.
  • Gathered data from students using InTeGrate assessments in courses using InTeGrate modules as well as from one course that didn't to serve as a control.
  • Gathered data about faculty experiences via teaching logs.
  • Met with 3 transfer students from EPCC and connected to former EPCC students to use as resources.

Spring 2015

  • Increased use of InTeGrate modules after demonstrating positive teaching evaluations, student and faculty satisfaction.
  • Conducted an on-line survey of faculty interest in using InTeGrate modules. Most faculty liked the materials, but some felt they would not use them.

Summer 2015

  • Worked with UTEP graduate student to compile results of assessment data collected in 2014-2015 academic year. Results were used for presentations at the Earth Educator's Rendezvous meeting.
  • Assisted graduate students in evaluating which modules may fit with Physical Geology labs.
  • Held a workshop for 20 educators in August showcasing a "user's manual (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 52kB Sep7 15)" for other UTEP faculty considering adoption of materials.

Fall 2015

  • Fourteen instructors used InTeGrate materials in classes at EPCC and UTEP for 504 students.
  • Held a workshop for seven instructors in October. Participants did a "walk through" of the gallery walk activity (unit 1) from the Climate of Change module. One-on-one consultations were made for several faculty who will use InTeGrate materials in the spring and several instructors visited classrooms where InTeGrate materials were being used.
  • Interviewed faculty and graduate students regarding use of InTeGrate materials during the Fall semester.
  • Made presentations at the annual GSA meeting.
Spring 2016
  • Twelve instructors used InTeGrate materials in classes at EPCC and UTEP for ~530 students.
  • Held a workshop for teaching assistants at UTEP in February. Participants did a "jigsaw" activity based on unit 1 of "A Growing Concern."
  • Held a meeting with EPCC faculty in January to discuss InTeGrate materials, curriculum and transfer students. A follow-up meeting was held in February to discuss changes in EPCC degree plan and how it will impact transfer students to UTEP.
  • Presentations on InTeGrate were given at the Summit on the Future of Undergraduate Geoscience Education in January, the Texas Community College Teachers' Association in February, and the Sun Conference on Teaching and Learning in March. Participated in a webinar in February on using materials from the Environmental Justice and Freshwater InTeGrate module.
  • Interviewed by a local TV station regarding use of InTeGrate materials throughout the El Paso area.
  • Met with newly hired laboratory coordinator to discuss holding workshops for teaching assistants and use of InTeGrate materials in March.

Key Aspects of the Program

Several UTEP and EPCC faculty had worked together on joint activities, so we already had established contacts between the institutions. Adjunct faculty also teach at both institutions and some EPCC faculty are UTEP graduates. This has led to a dedicated and hard-working team of individuals involved in InTeGrate activities.

New faculty and graduate teaching assistants were very willing to try new materials. They liked the way InTeGrate materials were organized and the opportunities it gave them to present the materials in different ways.

The new chair (August 2016) of the Geological Sciences Department at UTEP has been supportive of workshops and meetings associated with the program.

Sustaining Change

Around 2004, EPCC developed an associate's degree in geological sciences. This allowed EPCC and UTEP to reach an articulation agreement about transferring courses, and the institutions developed a plan that could enable most transfer students to complete a degree at UTEP in 4 to 5 years. In the Fall of 2014, the State of Texas mandated changes in the geology curriculum at EPCC that change the scope of several classes and eliminated several classes (such as mineralogy). Thus UTEP and EPCC need to revisit the articulation agreement and the topics covered in introductory courses at both institutions. We have been using InTeGrate materials to help ensure similarity in materials covered in these courses, as well as aiding EPCC faculty to use InTeGrate materials to meet state mandates, rather than having to create completely new materials. EPCC works closely with local ECHS to insure course content is similar to that at EPCC and evaluates faculty teaching at ECHS. Our local "closed system" allows us to work more closely together than some 2 year - 4 year colleges, and we have the ability to impact the entire community.