Regional Network Development
Goals for changes in the regional network
- To broaden the network of 2YC geoscience faculty by building on the existing Illinois Association of Geoscience Instructors (IAGI) group.
- To increase participation of 4YC faculty in our regional networks to encourage discussions about transfer pathways for our 2YC geoscience students.
- To present research & ideas of active learning, metacognition, implicit bias, stereotype threat, and science identity to both full-time and adjunct 2YC geoscience faculty to improve the success rate of all students.
As a team, we have presented regional workshops for three years, alternating between our campuses in northern and central Illinois. The benefit of alternating campuses is that we have reached a wider audience of 2YC & 4YC geoscience faculty in our state. The downside is that we had few repeat attendees to follow up with their action plans. Our goal was to improve connections between faculty to share ideas, successes, and challenges in instruction.
Individually, we have each made presentations to faculty at our own campuses on the challenges our students face and some strategies for addressing those challenges. This included faculty outside of the geosciences since the areas of active learning, metacognition, and implicit bias affect all students.
We are fortunate in Illinois to already have a regional network of geoscience faculty, including geography, called the "Illinois Association of Geoscience Faculty" (IAGI). Each year we marketed our regional workshops throughout the state using the email database for this group with some success. When our workshops are located in Northern Illinois, we've had more attendees since it has a closer proximity to urban areas. When our workshops have been located in central Illinois, we have drawn participants from more rural areas, especially towards southern Illinois. In addition, the workshop attendees are content-driven. When we had a workshop on diversity and implicit bias, we had a strong attendance from 2YC's with a strong URM student population, which was a new demographic for our workshop attendees. We consider this a valuable outcome of our regional workshops as we've made connections with faculty from both 2YC and 4YC institutions in the southern half of the state. We will continue to reach out to the 4YC faculty we've established relations with to promote student transfers and create working partnerships between their departments and our 2YC students.
We will continue discussions related to the SAGE 2YC project with our 2YC colleagues using the IAGI network. It is reasonable to assume that there is a group of 2YC instructors in Illinois, as members of the IAGI, that have grown accustomed to these SAGE 2YC workshops and find them valuable, as communicated in the post-workshop evaluations. However, we recently discovered that this enthusiasm does not extend to all topics, so we will be careful in designing workshop agendas going forward.