Broaden Participation in the Geosciences

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The perspectives of groups traditionally underrepresented in the geosciences are valuable in broadening the conversation and approaches to solve problems. In addition, many employers that need geoscience expertise are expecting large shortfalls in qualified employees in the near future. A strong strategy for developing a robust workforce is to increase the participation of underrepresented minority students, first generation college students, and students from low socioeconomic backgrounds in courses and programs where they can learn the necessary skills and knowledge.

The suite of resources and exemplars showcased here demonstrate successful models in a variety of contexts drawn from programs sponsored by NAGT as well as partners in the discipline. There are many components that can be involved (such as demonstrating the relevance to students' lives, using active pedagogies, or developing a sense of community among students in a program). The examples of how other educators and institutions have achieved success with some key practices are particularly valuable for those engaged in broadening participation in the geosciences.

Attract Students to Courses and Programs

There are many ways to increase the number and diversity of students interested in taking geoscience courses and becoming majors.

Support Students through to Graduation

Once students are part of a program, careful attention should be given to providing them with the kinds of support that will enable them to be successful.

Prepare Students for Career Success

Ultimately, degree attainment is only a success if students are able to fulfill the career goals they have set for themselves.

What is This?

These pages are a synthesis of advice based on broadening participation work done by faculty members and administrators involved in many programs sponsored by NAGT as well as partners in the discipline. The framework of attracting, supporting, and preparing students as well as the major guidance headings on each page come out of work sponsored by the InTeGrate STEP Center project. The other projects involved include: Supporting and Advancing Geoscience Education in Two-year Colleges (SAGE2YC); Building Strong Geoscience Departments; On the Cutting Edge; Integrating Research and Education; Keyah Math Project; Starting Point: Teaching Introductory Geoscience; Sustainability Improves Student Learning (SISL); Climate Education in an Age of Media; and Curriculum for the Bioregion. External partners with resources in this collection are the Institute for Broadening Participation and the International Assocation for Geoscience Diversity. Resources from beyond the geosciences have been included in some areas as well including CUREnet; Supporting STEM Student Success in a Liberal Arts Context; and LSAMP IINSPIRE.

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