SAGE 2YC Project Evaluation

The SAGE 2YC: Faculty as Change Agents project set out to build a national network of self-sustaining local communities of 2YC geoscience faculty and administrators who use evidence-based strategies to improve all students' academic success, broaden participation, and facilitate students' professional pathways into the STEM workforce. A synergistic program of research and evaluation that is fully integrated in the project is advancing our knowledge and understanding of the effectiveness of a professional development model for full-time and adjunct geoscience and STEM faculty.

The project goals are to

  1. build a sustainable national network of 2YC leaders (change agents) who catalyze change at multiple levels from their courses to institutions in their local regions and within the community of practice;
  2. implement high-impact evidence-based instructional and co-curricular practices that support the academic success of all students, broaden participation, and promote students' professional pathways into geoscience; and
  3. investigate models of professional development for full-time and adjunct 2YC geoscience faculty that promote the cycle of innovation, where faculty learn from the research of others, make changes in their own practice, and share what they have learned with the education community.

Jump down to evaluation reportsor publications and presentations

Theory of Change

The evaluation and research plan uses a theory of change to examine and identify the strongest and most compelling evidence for the program impacts. The diagram to the right shows the theory of change with the two major goal domains of increasing evidence-based practices and building sustainable leadership through professional development (illustrated in the top two boxes). Faculty Change Agents ("CAs," in the figure) engage in what is called "anchoring practices" depicted in the circle showing reflective practice, including mutually strengthening time to "meet, discuss, and plan," "practice," and "reflect." By engaging in reflective practices over and over again during the project, the faculty Change Agents are expected to be able to see their own practice strengthen and improve, including influencing positive student outcomes. Faculty Change Agents may also see the practice of others (i.e., faculty in their department/program and their institution, as well as other geoscience faculty in their geographic region of the country) change, strengthen, and improve.

Also noteworthy is the right side of the theory of change diagram, where we can see a set of circles depicting support structures intentionally planned and implemented in the SAGE 2YC project, including regionally based faculty Change Agent teams; professional development engagement strategies using face-to-face and virtual delivery with other geoscience and science educators (2YC and 4YCU); evidence-based resources including the SAGE 2YC website maintained by SERC; and networking strategies that involve stakeholders associated with the overall project, the colleges involved in the project, and the larger geoscience profession. Taken together, the theory of change presents a vision that moves from individual practice to collective change, impacts on programs, organizations, regions, and professional endeavors.

Using this theory of change, the SAGE 2YC evaluation and research team is gathering and analyzing data to paint a picture of implementation and impact of the project.

Evaluation reports

Publications and presentations

The following list of publications and presentations focuses on the project evaluation and research findings. For a full list of project publications and presentations, see our SAGE 2YC publications page.


Bragg, Debra D., Eddy, P., Iverson, E.R., Hao, Y., O'Connell., K (2022). Lessons from research and evaluation on faculty as change agents of teaching and campus reform. New Directions for Community Colleges, v. 2022(199), 215-228.

O'Connell, K., Eddy, P.L., Iverson, E.R., & Macdonald, R.H. (2022) Faculty Change Agent Model: Cultivating Faculty to Catalyze Change, Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 54:3, 11-18, DOI: 10.1080/00091383.2022.2054173

Ormand, Carol J., R. Heather Macdonald, Janet Hodder, Debra D. Bragg, Eric M. D. Baer, and Pamela L. Eddy (2021). Making Departments Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive: Engaging colleagues in departmental transformation through discussion groups committed to action. Journal of Geoscience Education, open access.

Iverson, E., Bragg, D. D., & Eddy, P.L. (2020). How faculty change agents enact mid-level leadership in STEM. New Directions for Community Colleges, Issue 191, pp. 67-79.

Macdonald, R. Heather, Rachel J. Beane, Eric M. D. Baer, Pamela Eddy, Norlene R. Emerson, Jan Hodder, Ellen R. Iverson, John R. McDaris, Kristin O'Connell, and Carol J. Ormand (2019). Accelerating Change: The Power of Faculty Change Agents to Promote Diversity and Inclusive Teaching Practices. Journal of Geoscience Education, v. 67, p. 330-339. DOI:

Eddy, P., Hao, Y., Markiewicz, C., & Iverson, E. (2018). Faculty change agents as adult learners: The power of situated learning. Submitted to Community College Journal of Research and Practice. DOI: 10.1080/10668926.2018.1507848

Conference Papers and Presentations


Eddy, P., Hao, Y., & Bragg, D. (2019, April). Exploring theoretical perspectives on change agent roles enacted by two-year college geoscience faculty. Research paper presented at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Toronto, Canada.

Eddy, P., Iverson, E., Hao, Y., Bragg, D., & O'Connell, K. (2019, April). Faculty as leaders: Building innovative and sustainable change in community colleges. Research symposium at the 61st Annual Council for the Study of Community Colleges Conference, San Diego, CA (equal contribution among the presenters).


Eddy, P. L., Hao, Y. H., Bragg, D., & Iverson, E. (2018, April). The influence of mental maps on engagement in transformative change efforts. Peer reviewed paper at the Annual Conference of the Council for the Study of Community Colleges, Dallas, TX.

Eddy, P. L., (2018, April). Supporting and advancing geoscience education at two-year colleges (SAGE 2YC): Faculty as agents of change. Peer reviewed symposium at the American Association for Educational Research Annual Meeting, New York, NY.

Eddy, P., Iverson, E., & Hao, Y. (2018, April). Fostering communities of practice among community college STEM faculty: Connecting the dots. Roundtable session at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New York, NY.

Iverson, Ellen, R. Heather Macdonald, Eric M. D. Baer, Debra Bragg, Pamela Eddy, Norlene R. Emerson, Jan Hodder, John R. McDaris, Kristin O'Connell, and Carol J. Ormand (2018). Building a Community of Practice Among Geoscience Two-Year College Faculty: A Framework to Support Individual Learning and Collective Change. Geological Society of America annual meeting (Indianapolis, IN). See abstract.


Eddy, P., Iverson, E., Hao, Y., & Markiewicz, C. (2017, November). Change agents as adult learners: The power of situated learning. Research paper presentation at the 42nd Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, Houston, TX.

Iverson, E., McDaris, J., Ormand, C., Macdonald, H. (2017, July ) Supporting and Advancing Geoscience Education in Two-Year Colleges (SAGE 2YC): Building a Foundation for Change through a Network of Regional Communities of Practice. Poster presented at the 2017 Earth Educator's Rendezvous (Albuquerque, NM).

Hao, Y., Eddy, P., Iverson, E., & Bragg, D. (2017, April). Becoming change agents: Geoscience faculty at two-year institutions. Research paper presentation at the 59th Annual Council for the Study of Community Colleges Conference, Fort Worth, TX.

Eddy, P., Hao, Y., Iverson, E., & Bragg, D. (2017, April). Changing teaching practices to support student success: The role of communities of practice. Research paper presentation at the 59thAnnual Council for the Study of Community Colleges Conference, Fort Worth, TX.

Eddy, P. L., Hao, Y., Markiewicz, C., Iverson, E., & Bragg, D. (2017, February). Building good teaching practices in STEM: Exemplar portraits (Acrobat (PDF) 633kB Feb14 17). Peer reviewed poster at the Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy, Blacksburg, VA.


Eddy, P. L., Iverson, E., Hao, Y., & Bragg, D. (2016, November). Focusing on teaching to promote student success: Faculty change agent roles in SAGE 2YC (Acrobat (PDF) 280kB Nov21 16). Peer reviewed roundtable at the Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, Columbus, OH.

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