Texas Change Agent Team
Kristie Bradford, Lone Star College - Tomball Campus
Bryn Benford, Lone Star College - University Park Campus
We are working to support the academic success of all students by using best practices in the classroom including aligned classroom activities, labs, and assessments. We want to improve the participation and success of our minorities that are currently under represented and under performing.
Progress to Date
The primary SAGE 2YC thread we have been working on is Student Success. We have been increasing the amount of active learning we have in our classrooms as well as assisting colleagues to do the same. We have prepared some activities for our colleagues to use so that they do not have to create activities from scratch. Another useful tool for increasing student achievement and completion rates is undergraduate research. Through our Honors College, we have been incorporating student research into classwork and as independent projects. We are continuing to work on pathways by identifying and advising students who express an interest in a geology major. Although our advising is not in an official capacity and is not directly connected to a pathway, by talking with students about their course plans, we can assist them in making choices that will best prepare them for a 4YC. Our latest venture is to develop a database of geologists showcasing people from underrepresented minorities. We are still in the early stages of this project.
Kristie is the Secretary of The International Association for Geoscience Diversity (the IAGD) and a 2014 recipient of Lone Star College's Teaching Excellence Award. In addition to teaching geology, Kristie is also a taekwondo master instructor. Teaching taekwondo often gives her ideas about how to present information or draw in her geology students.
Kristie teaches Physical Geology and Historical Geology.
Bryn is the faculty lead for geology, chemistry, and environmental science. She is passionate about developing good video lectures for her hybrid physical geology classes. Bryn is also in the process of setting up an augmented reality sandbox that will help students understand topographic maps. It will be on a cart that will allow her to take it to community outreach events.
Bryn teaches Physical Geology and Historical Geology.
Lone Star CollegeInstitution: Lone Star College is one of 2 large community colleges serving the Houston area. With 6 major campuses, it serves nearly 100,000 students per year, 17% of whom are African American, 34% are Hispanic or Latino, and 59% are women. Seventy one percent of the students at Lone Star attend part-time. Each campus has its own geology program, which is part of a Division on each campus that includes various other science and/or mathematics departments.
Lone Star College - Tomball
Campus: The Tomboll campus serves about 9,000 students from a campus northwest of Houston. Campus demographics are similar to the College as a whole with a student population that is 13% African American, 28% Hispanic, and 61% women.
Geoscience program: The geoscience program at Lone Star College - Tomball Campus offers courses in Physical Geology and Historical Geology serving between 150 and 180 students per year, most of whom are taking geology to fulfill a science requirement which may or may not be specific to their degree plan. There are no majors. The program has one permanent faculty member. Geology is part of a Natural Sciences Department on the Tomball campus.
Lone Star College - University Park Campus
Campus: The University Park Campus has about 11,000 students, and has the highest percentage of Asian students (12%) of the LSC campuses.
Geoscience program: Dr. Benford is the only full-time geoscience faculty at the Lone Star College - University Park Campus and there are 6 adjuncts who teach 1 or 2 classes each. There is also one lab-science coordinator that is shared with the chemistry program. The geoscience program is part of the Math & Sciences Division which covers all of the natural sciences, mathematics and the social sciences. Within the Division, a department includes biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, environmental science and geology and offers courses in Physical Geology, Historical Geology, Ocean Science, and Environmental Science. GIS is taught at the CyFair campus.
Most geoscience courses have a maximum of 32 students. These students take physical geology so that they can meet the science class requirement for their Associates degree. Those who take historical geology tend to be students who want to transfer to 4 year schools, and about 1/3 want to major in geology.
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.