Initial Publication Date: February 3, 2017

Support Transitions at the Course 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.

These are strategies that an individual faculty member could implement on their own. However, programs, departments and institutions can encourage these course-level strategies by providing incentives and supporting structures that span multiple courses.

Develop Workforce Skills and Habits of Mind

Almost no jobs feature sitting and learning from lectures. Active learning activities are much more closely aligned with workforce tasks. All the InTeGrate modules make extensive use of active learning.

California State University - Chico
The Chico project uses modules and units that have students collaborate in small groups building teamwork skills.
University of Northern Colorado
The UNC team updated a Scientific Writing course to focus on research and writing about sustainability.
University of Illinois - Chicago
The UIC team worked to incorporate geoscience methods of investigation and habits of mind by highlighting activities that a) use authentic data to showcase observations and descriptions, b) showcase historical studies that could inform present day observations, and c) focus on Earth systems.
Workforce Preparation: Needed Competencies »

Service Learning exposes students to real world problems and produces a product that has value to their communities. This is a more realistic model for what you do in the workforce. Reflecting on their experiences in Service Learning helps students understand themselves better, and know more about what they do and don't want to do with their lives. It allows them to begin to imagine the trajectory of their own career path.

Wittenberg University
One aspect of the Wittenberg program was getting students involved in an invasive species project in partnership with a local park.
Savannah State University
The Savannah program team developed a whole series of service learning projects rather than a single experience in a particular class.

Engage Students in Active Learning »

Highlight Locally-Relevant Issues

One of the benefits of Place-Based Learning is that students establish connections with local community (businesses, agencies, stakeholders) and local problems. It can also expose them to local businesses that work in the sustainability sphere with whom they might be interested in working.

University of South Dakota
Place-based learning was a focus of the program, centering all their work around the Missouri River. Courses focused on different aspects of the Missouri River such as energy production on the river (hydroelectric and power-plant cooling), management of the river for multiple uses (recreation, biodiversity, barge traffic, energy production), and cultural impacts (damming and Dakota Access Pipeline).
Savannah State University
One of the Savannah teams main goals focused on bringing awareness of environmental justice issues to their locality through work on coastal risks and hazards.

InTeGrate: Teach with Local Examples and Data »

Showcase Career Opportunities that Utilize Earth Knowledge

There are a great many career opportunities for those with geoscience expertise, but we can't expect our students to know about them unless we provide information about them. Exposing students to potential futures using Earth knowledge can have a direct impact on their choosing one.

Claflin University
The CU team started a partnership with University of South Carolina's McNair's Scholars Program and the School of Earth, Ocean and Environment where students would be exposed to geosciences careers and undergraduate research through co-mentorship.
University of Illinois - Chicago
The UIC team reconnected with several alumni located locally in Chicago as well as throughout the country who provided information on their educational and career path and offered advice to current students. The resulting set of YouTube videos are used to showcase careers and pathways.