Regional Network Development
The Goals for Changes in the Regional Network
The regional goals of the Florida Team were to:
- Increase visibility to the local community about the geoscience programs now offered by the Institute of Marine and Environmental Studies (IMES) at Daytona State College (DSC) in the hopes of increasing student recruitment.
- Partner with regional 2YC and local high-school faculty to provide professional-development opportunities, and leverage each other's knowledge, strengths and experiences as a means to overcome challenges and issues associated with geoscience course and/or program development.
To increase community visibility, the Florida Team spearheaded ShORE (SHaring Our Research with Everyone on the Indian River Lagoon). ShORE is now a highly popular event where scientists present research findings to the local community about the current state of the Indian River Lagoon--our local waterbody that is the most diverse estuary in North America. This event also provides opportunities for high school and undergraduate students to present their research to scientists and the community and serves as an important recruitment opportunity for our college. High school students are always presented with DSC swag that includes the IMES webpage location.
We offered professional-development opportunities via our annual workshops to Florida 2YC and local high-school geoscience faculty. The focus of the 2016 workshop was to develop active-learning strategies to increase student success; for the 2017 workshop our focus was to develop strategies to increase student recruitment and retention in geoscience courses and programs; the 2018 workshop focused on developing successful strategies for online and hybrid geoscience courses. In addition to sharing ideas for engaging students in an online environment, strategies for reaching students with various academic needs were discussed at the workshop. The goal was to create an online setting that promotes diversity and supports all students to be successful. Our workshops (PaSSAGE to Student Success at Florida 2YCs) were a great place to meet other geoscience faculty, share strategies and activities tested by participants, and learn new evaluation techniques to gain a better understanding of course success.
The annual ShORE event now draws over 400 in attendance, including community members who are now aware of geoscience activities and opportunities at Daytona State College. In addition, five high schools have brought their students to ShORE. The Florida Team continues to evaluate this event to determine if it is an effective recruitment strategy.
Our annual PaSSAGE workshops have received good reviews. Faculty from seven area 2YCs and three high schools have attended and participated in our workshop activities. Based on our interaction with participants, it seems that opportunities to network with other regional geoscience faculty are sorely lacking and highly welcomed. It was also apparent that Florida geoscience faculty love to interact with one another and share ideas, which was made obvious when we had difficulty in getting them to leave once the workshop was completed. Based on participants reviews and needs, we hope to continue this collaboration in the future.