Support Transitions Beyond the Institutional Level

This page was developed as a synthesis of lessons learned by participants in InTeGrate program models and is part of an extended set of InTeGrate resources on strengthening workforce preparation in degree programs.

Most undergraduates are not preparing for a career in academia, and yet that is the only career that many professors are personally familiar with. An intentional effort on the part of academics is required to prepare students for a wider range of possible careers, including gathering and disseminating information about work life outside of academia and building connections across all the various transitions in possible student pathways.

Build Bridges Between High School and College

In addition to outreach and recruitment efforts, colleges and universities can provide supports to ensure that high school students successfully make the transition to undergraduates. Programs such as those offering college credit for high school coursework or allowing high school students to take come courses at a community college give those students a strong start on their college success.

University of Texas - El Paso
The partnership between the high school, two-year college, and four-year institution in the UTEP model supported the transition from high school to college.

Build Bridges Between 2YCs and 4YCs

As more students are electing to begin their academic path in 2YC, it is important to make sure the transition between 2YC and 4YCs is clear and efficient so that students can be successful at their new institution and graduate in a timely manner. Strong approaches include formalizing transfer articulation agreements between the institutions, developing shared activities to get students interacting, and having open lines of communication at the level of faculty, guidance counselors, financial aid offices, and administration.

University of Texas - El Paso
UTEP and EPCC have been very successful in creating opportunities for students from both institutions on collaborating on research and transferring from the 2y to the 4y to complete their degrees.
Grand Valley State university
Part of the GVSU team's aim was to strengthen connections with two local 2YCs. They co-lead field trips which allowed the 2YC faculty to gain experience on possible field trips as well as share their expertise with GVSU students. The 2YC faculty are also developing "pre-majors" at their institutions to facilitate completion of 2+2 bachelors degrees with GVSU.

Find Partners in the Workplace

In almost every part of the country there are businesses and government agencies eager to hire graduates with geoscience expertise. Reaching out to make connections with firms and offices can generate opportunities to bring in external speakers and place students in internships as well as potentially generate financial or in-kind support for the academic programs that prepare those graduates.

University of Illinois - Chicago
The UIC team connected with established alumni to learn about what companies are looking for in new hires. The featured alumni were also diverse (gender, ethnicity/nationality, discipline, etc) as a way of showing that all students could have a place in the geoscience workforce.
Wittenberg University
As a consequence of planning to support community project development across the curriculum in the last year of this project, the Wittenberg team expanded their activities with partners in existing courses. The growth in course-based partnering resulted in increased internship opportunities, professional networking, and land or instrumentation resources for students.
Shippensburg University
The Campus Community Sustainability Forum that the Shippensburg implementation team ran engaged community partners in a discussion of what "sustainability" is from their perspective, how it relates to their day-to-day operations, and how it impacts the decision-making processes necessary for the future of their organization and communities they serve.

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