Supporting Minority Students at Northern Virginia Community College

Information for this profile was provided by Callan Bentley, Northern Virginia Community College. Information is also available on the program website.

Jump Down To: Context | Keys to Success | Attracting New Students | Supporting Our Majors | Preparing Students for Careers | Additional Information

Border to Beltway, 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.

Keys to Success

  • Faculty recruitment; lure of travel
  • Mentoring
  • Exposure to options

Attracting New Students

This program is a one-shot deal (though hopefully a model on which a more expansive national program could be based), so answering this question is a little tricky: What we are doing is attempting to recruit students with an all-expenses-paid field geology experience that will delight, inspire, and bolster the participating students.

Supporting Our Majors

What we're doing is (a) providing access to diverse geology ("The best geologist is the one who's seen the most rocks"), and (b) mentoring participating students, as well as (c) providing and nurturing a peer support network among the participating students.

Preparing Students for Careers

This really isn't applicable to our program - we're at the "head" end of the pipeline, not the downstream end.

Addition Information