Regional Network Development

Goals for changes in the regional network

Goal 1: Facilitate interpersonal, professional connections among current 2YC faculty members in the region with an emphasis on effective pedagogical strategies for 2YC geoscience classrooms.

Goal 2: Create a learning community of 2YC instructors and 4YC graduate students to help prepare future 2YC geoscience instructors. The majority of geoscience graduate programs do not have a formal teaching component for graduate students, and our anecdotal experience tells us that the extent of many graduate students' teaching preparation consists of perhaps a brief TA training, followed by, "Time to [teach, grade, etc.]" This results in graduate students' limited preparation as teaching assistants for lower-division courses during their graduate program and the interview process (development of a teaching statement, preparing and executing a teaching demonstration, etc.) when they are ready to seek teaching positions.

Goal 3: Assemble a diverse, local community of 2YC and 4YC instructors to be involved in Career and Technical Education (CTE) Opportunities. Many of the faculty in our region possess a great deal of professional knowledge about geotechnical/environmental careers because they were formerly employed (or are currently employed, in the case of some adjuncts) in these sectors, and we are interested in utilizing their expertise to create our CTE Geotechnician Certificate. Instead of thinking of the certificate as our property, we want to involve these instructors, use their knowledge to help us grow the cohorts of geotech students, and have other faculty take co-ownership of training these students.

Goal 4: Create a support network for adjunct geoscience and oceanography instructors. As in most areas, our adjuncts are often the most impacted by limitations in time, resources, and professional development opportunities. Many of them teach classes at 3-4 local 2YCs. This also makes them the most logical connection between our college and other local colleges.


Goal 1: The SAGE 2YC Faculty Agents of Change annual meetings include a variety of instructional strategies, and we wanted to disseminate what we learned at these meetings to faculty in our region. As described in our meeting programs for our 2016 regional workshop, 2017 regional workshop, and 2018 regional workshop, there were sessions on instructional strategies incorporated into these events.

Goal 2: For the first time, we included local graduate students in our fall 2018 regional workshop. We included breakout sessions specific to graduate students on the job search and interview process and gave them an opportunity to prepare and present a teaching demonstration to get a sense of what a 2YC interview teaching demo might be like. We also invited a number of adjunct instructors and had help from an adjunct instructor in facilitating the workshop.

Goal 3: Dave interviewed and included a number of local 2YC and 4YC geoscience instructors on the Geotechnician Certificate Advisory Board and continues to search for more teaching contacts who are knowledgable in the fields of engineering geology, environmental geology, hydrogeology or who have any corporate experience in a geotechnical field.

Goal 4: An adjunct instructor in our department took on a leadership role in our fall 2018 workshop. We also want to create a network of local geoscience and oceanography instructors. To do this, we plan to begin a monthly or bi-monthly newsletter where we solicit stories from our region about field trip ideas, how to incorporate active learning as an adjunct, challenges, searching for jobs, etc. The adjunct most involved in our workshops has volunteered to coordinate this effort. Finally, Becca will be co-leading a GSA short course, Preparing Undergraduates: Data-rich Introductory Teaching Modules and Connecting Content to Geoscience Careers, on Saturday, September 21, at the GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix. The short course is being advertised explicitly for community college faculty and adjuncts, and stipends of $520 for non-Phoenix residents and $220 for Phoenix residents are available.


Goal 1: Our end-of-workshop evaluation data have improved over the life of the project, with overall satisfaction ratings of 8.8 out of 10 for the 2016 workshop, 8.8 out of 10 for the 2017 workshop, and 9.4 out of 10 for the 2018 workshop. The number of participants and number of different institutions represented has also increased from our first workshop in 2016 to the present.

Goal 2: The inclusion of graduate students was received very positively by the grad students, both in written post-workshop evaluations and anecdotally. We enjoyed the process of comparing notes and strategies with seasoned instructors, but it was very positive and refreshing discussing teaching strategies with future instructors because we felt like the impact we were having was more significant. We have also begun to think about writing a grant to help support a local "teaching institute" for graduate students and adjuncts where they earn a badge or certificate after learning about and experimenting with different active learning strategies and assessment tactics.

Goal 3: We recently had our first meeting of the advisory board for the Geotech certificate. The board includes three instructors from other community colleges and one from a nearby four-year university.

Goal 4: This is a brand new idea, so no outcomes to report as yet.