Monday, April 27, 2009

GSA Session - Geoscience Programs at Community Colleges: Models for Success and Innovation

This note came across my virtual desk....I pass it on for your perusal (thanks to Greg Wheeler)

Hello everyone...

Eric Baer (Highline Community College in Des Moines WA) and I will be co-chairing what looks like a first time event at GSA, a topical session on community college earth science programs. Our proposal to do this was not only accepted by GSA, but is also sponsored by both NAGT and GSA GED. Furthermore, the NSF GEO Diversity and Education program is interested helping this session go forward by providing funds that would subsidize presenter travel and expenses. Many community college geoscience instructors don't attend conferences like GSA due to lack of funds. The two caveats that come with this offer are that the presenters and advocates meet with NSF to discuss what they can do to aid community college earth science and that we include a list of potential speakers for the event. It is because of this second caveat that I am writing this to all of you. I am looking to put together in the next three weeks a list of community college instructors and university faculty involved in community college / university collaborations who would be interested in speaking at the session. See below for a description of the session. If you have recommendations of community college or university faculty that you think would be interested in speaking and have experience in addressing the questions listed in the description, please forward me their names or have them contact me directly. If NSF accepts the proposal from my college (Portland Community College) then we would pay for travel and conference expenses for the presenter and a student of their choosing.Feel free to contact me if you need additional information.I look forward to hearing from you.

Frank D. Granshaw
Earth Science Instructor
Portland Community College
Sylvania Campus, Portland, OR 503-977-8236

Session #T104: Geoscience Programs at Community Colleges: Models for Success and Innovation

Frank D. Granshaw – Portland Community College, Portland Oregon
Eric M. Baer – Highline Community College, Seattle Washington

Community College programs are diverse and multifaceted. This session will highlight a variety of programs and how they successfully achieve their goals.

Community College Geoscience programs are a critical part of the geoscience education system. Because they serve more than 10 million students currently enrolled in these institutions, they play a critical role in educating the general public and future graduates of colleges, training future K-12 educators and recruiting geoscience majors from a diverse and variable pool. This session will look at the questions that community college geoscientists face in fulfilling this mission. Chief among these are following:
  • What makes for a strong community college earth science program?
  • Given the student population of most community colleges, what is the focus of these programs, career training, geoscience literacy, or both?
  • What strategies are useful for helping students become geoscience literate?
  • How do community college earth science department successfully encourage and prepare geoscience majors?
  • What role does university - community college and high school-community college collaborations play in making a strong program?
  • How do community college geoscience programs relate the vocational programs in their own institutions?
  • What role do community college geoscience courses have in providing science background for future teachers?
  • How do professional networks enhance the mission of community college geoscience program?
  • Given the large number of adjunct faculty teaching community college earth science courses, how do science departments mentor these faculty to help them address these questions?

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