Western Washington Change Agent Team
Dana Vukajlovich, Bellevue College
Description of Program Work
Our broad goals are to increase interest in geoscience courses and improve the success of students in Earth and Space Science courses at Bellevue College. Student success and enrollment numbers have been declining in some geoscience fields at our college. Geoscience-related student clubs, social activities, and academic advising are currently sporadic. Improvements in those areas will build interest in geoscience careers and opportunities to reach a broader audience.
We will strengthen our geoscience community with more departmental meetings and relationship building with student support groups. We will increase the visibility of the geoscience program by publicizing course and program information more widely and offering social gatherings for students. We will work to build a closer relationship with academic advisors and improve the information on geoscience majors and careers.
January 26, 2019
Spring Follow-on Activities
Rick is an environmental chemist, balancing the the fields of environmental science and chemistry. He uses inquiry-based and experiential activities to teach both topics. He also views an important part of his work is building and connecting communities. You can read about how he works with students on environmental research projects such as microplastics, arsenic in rice, and neonicotinoids in this blog post from the American Chemical Society's The Nexus Blog.
Rick teaches environmental science and chemistry courses.
Dana has an academic background in isotope geochemistry and previously managed a science communication project, Portal to the Public, for the Pacific Science Center which built a network of collaborating museums and science centers. She is passionate about experiential learning and increasing diversity in STEM fields.
Dana teaches geology and oceanography courses.
Institution: Bellevue College is located about 10 miles east of Seattle. It is a primarily a two-year college, although does offer some bachelor's degrees. It is the largest two-year college in the state, serving about 13,000 students each quarter. Eighteen percent of the students are Asian, and 11% are Hispanic/Latino. Six percent of students at Bellevue College are formally registered as having a disability and 40% take one or more classes online.
Geoscience program: Most of the ~3100 students in 106 sections of Earth and Space Science courses are taking the courses as a science elective to fulfill transfer requirements. There are no majors offered, although a Sustainability concentration began last year. There are 9 full-time and 9 adjunct faculty who teach courses within the Earth and Space Sciences Department, however many of these faculty also teach courses in other departments, especially Life Sciences and Physical Sciences. The Earth and Space Sciences Department includes courses Oceanography, Geology, Astronomy, Meteorology, and Environmental Science and is within the Science Division of Bellevue College.
Institutional demographic data is from IPEDS the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, U.S. Department of Education, typically for the 2014-15 year as available.