Program/Department Development

Lone Star - Tomball

Goals for change at the program/department level

  • Offer a unique science experience that supports all students
  • Be the "science of choice," especially for non-science and undecided majors, at LSC - Tomball


Redesigned the classroom to facilitate collaboration during class. The goal is to encourage a do-talk-do style of lecturing so that students engage more actively with the material.

Development of guidelines and adjunct training to increase active learning in classes.

Discussion with campus student support programs, the Center for Leadership, Academic and Student Success (CLASS), TRIO, and the Student Success Initiative (SSI), to encourage students from underrepresented groups to take geology for their science class.

Meetings held with students interested in geology to assist them in their degree plan.

Work is underway to offer a field trip class for credit as well as opportunities for undergraduate research. Undergraduate research is also available through the Honors College on each Lone Star Campus for honors credit.

Develop a relationship with nearby four-year university geology faculty.


Most of these activities are new this year, so there is not much data to support how effective they are at the moment. However, progressive work to strengthen and improve teaching in the geology department is reflected in the number of Latinx students in geology class which has steadily increased. In addition, the total number of classes offered this semester has increased from three to six with a total of 140 students, an increase of 50 students from one year ago.

Lone Star - University Park

Goals for change at the program/department level

  • Be the top geology program in the area
  • Be the "science of choice," especially for non-science and undecided majors on our campus


Weekly to bi-weekly alignment meetings between full-time faculty to discuss course standards, pedagogy, scheduling, budget, at-risk students, and any issues that that need immediate attention.

Between semester all-day meetings to tackle major changes in classes.

Tied Student Learning Outcomes to exact sections in book and to specific labs so that adjuncts have "core" material that must be taught to allow for consistency between sections without limiting academic freedom.

Involve adjuncts in development of materials.

Good communication and camaraderie between full-time and adjuncts – meet informally with each adjunct at least once a week and hold end-of-the-semester briefings.

Meet with advising to discuss our course offerings.

Meet monthly with students interested in majoring in geology to discuss courses, job opportunities, and transfer.

Develop a relationship with faculty at four-year universities.

Brought in professional geoscientist guest speakers (e.g. Don Riley (engineering geologist) and Noble Energy).


Enrollment in geology classes at our campus has increased drastically over the last three years: Fall 2016-Spring 2017: 443 students, Fall 2017-Spring 2018: 526 students, and Fall 2018-Spring 2019: 673 students.

Clear communication with students transferring and setting up meetings at four-year universities for developing communication early on.