Florida Change Agent Team

Karen Braley
Debra Woodall
Daytona State College
Initial Publication Date: October 13, 2016


We are developing a model that may be used by other Florida 2YCs to increase recruitment and retention rates of students enrolled in geoscience majors. In meeting state requirements and guidelines unique to the State of Florida, this multifaceted model utilizes research-based strategies that include (1) creating relationships with and opportunities for high school students and faculty; (2) increasing student sense of belonging and interactions with peers, faculty and the scientific community; (3) utilizing effective classroom pedagogy and developing challenging course content; (4) providing students with opportunities to experience research, career practices and professional development opportunities; and (5) developing support systems for geoscience majors to successfully make the transition to 4-year colleges and/or enter into the geoscience workforce.


Opportunities for engaging in geoscience education are relatively new to Daytona State College (DSC). Located on the east-central coast of Florida, DSC is situated within the unique environment associated with the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River Lagoon (IRL)—the most diverse estuary in North America. We joined SAGE 2YC with a goal of strengthening our geoscience courses and programs now being offered to our students. Our goal is to better serve our community by preparing students to meet the hiring needs of private and public agencies and thereby helping to protect the health of our unique local environment. With the guidance and support of SAGE 2YC, DSC is quickly developing into the educational institution that is meeting the needs of its students and the community.

Another motivation for participating in the project was the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues from across the country. The project provided a chance to share teaching and learning strategies with other 2YC professors. The project encouraged participants to reach out within their departments, as well as college-wide to discuss aspects of teaching that improve student success. The project also facilitated starting a State-wide network of 2YC professors to continue and develop strategies to engage and support students.

Aligning with Institutional Priorities

The mission of Daytona State College includes the following, "emphasizing student success, embracing excellence and diversity, as well as fostering innovation to enhance teaching and learning." The priorities or goals of the institution are the identical to the mission statement. The faculty as change agents grant program has aligned with the institution's mission.

The workshops and data collected have increased the awareness of the participants of how various teaching strategies can influence the success of the students. The faculty participating in this program have been able to share this information with both the department and the school via presentations. The professional development provided by the change program has been inspiring to the faculty who have participated to improve their courses and promote excellence. The motivational impact on the change agent faculty has the potential to translate to motivated students.

The program has included face-to-face presentations and book clubs that focus on diversity. The information from these sessions has provided the participants with new tools for promoting diversity and successfully interaction with a diverse group of students and this aligns will the mission of the school. Finally, one of the goals and part of the mission is to enhance teaching and learning. The faculty as change agents program has focused on improving the classroom tools of the faculty in the program. This translates into improved teaching and improved learning.

This project description is part of a collection documenting work by teams of two-year college faculty to implement high-impact, evidence-based instructional and co-curricular practices at their own institutions in pursuit of improved STEM learning, broadened participation, and a more robust STEM workforce.

Explore the whole collection »

      Next Page »