The Role of Two-year Colleges in Education and Broadening Participation in the Geosciences: A Planning Workshop

  • Macdonald, R R.H. (PI)
  • Filson, Robert R. (CoPI)
  • Guertin, Laura (CoPI)
  • Kraft, Katrien K. (CoPI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Two-year colleges (TYC) enroll approximately 45% of all undergraduate students in the country and have a highly diverse student population. Given this diversity, TYCs provide a potentially rich conduit for broadening participation in the geosciences. They also play an important role in contributing to the geoscience workforce, teaching science to pre-service K-12 teachers, and producing earth-science literate citizens. However, TYC faculty face challenges including limited resources, isolation, lack of respect from four-year college colleagues, and limited opportunities for targeted geoscience professional development. The goals of this OEDG planning grant include identifying issues, challenges, and opportunities for geoscience faculty and students in TYC and making recommendations for next steps in strengthening this important component of the community. A planning workshop is being convened in the Summer of 2010 to strategize how to: 1) better support TYC geoscience programs, faculty, and students; 2) provide more professional support for geoscience faculty in TYC; 3) identify strategies to broaden participation in the geosciences in ways that involve TYC; 4) establish networks among TYC geoscience faculty; 5) build stronger collaborations and connections with four-year colleges and universities, in an effort to better support recruitment and retention of students moving through the geoscience pipeline; and, 6) consider how professional societies and organizations can support TYC faculty, students, and program. During this workshop ~25 two-year and four-year college and university faculty, as well as representatives from professional societies, will be brought together to develop a plan with prioritized recommendations. An associated website, hosted by the Science Education Resources Center (SERC) at Carleton College, is being developed to support the project. It will document the workshop and extend its reach, building resources from the workshop and from pre- and post-workshop contributions. It will also provide links to professional society sessions on TYC issues and serve as a foundation for information about geoscience in TYC more broadly.

Effective start/end date9/15/098/31/11


  • National Science Foundation: $47,290.00


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