Paper No. 7
Presentation Time: 9:40 AM
ARTICULATION TO 4-YR GEOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE PROGRAMS WITH A 2-YR TERMINAL DEGREE: ONE STRATEGY FOR TRANSFER THAT SUPPORTS GEOSCIENCE STUDENT SUCCESS WHILE PROVIDING A COST EFFECTIVE OPTION FOR AN UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE
The metro area of Minneapolis/St. Paul offers undergraduate geology degrees at three institutions, one public, the University of Minnesota and two private, all of which have become increasingly selective in their admissions, increasingly expensive, and/or discourage part-time attendance. The Minnesota State College and University System (MnSCU), in the same region, has one 4-yr state university, which offers a single geology course, and seven community colleges. So most metro area students at North Hennepin Community College (NHCC) interested in geology or earth science education as a major have had to transfer outstate or out-of-state to complete their degree at a public institution. Facilitating transfer, especially in STEM fields, can get complicated and frequently students are overwhelmed by the sometimes conflicting information they receive from counselors/advisors versus department faculty at both the transferring and receiving institutions. Presently, NHCC is in the process of formalizing an Associate of Science (A.S.) degree in Geology to articulate to Winona State University (WSU; southeastern MN), making the transfer process easier and less stressful for students wanting to earn one of the following degrees: B.S. Earth Science (teaching), Geology or Environmental Science (with Geology core), or a B.A Geology. Articulation agreements are most useful when they facilitate transfer to a specific four-year institution with whom the two-year college has the agreement and when they can serve as a general framework for transfer to other four-year institutions as well. While such articulation agreements are not unique in general, they are not common in geology and they are non-existent in geology in Minnesota. The impetus of this collaboration is to provide metro area students with a relatively easy, cost effective option for getting an undergraduate degree in geology at a public university. In addition, what is potentially innovating and unique about this collaboration is that the articulating NHCC students will have a terminal degree (A.S. Geology) which equips them with an excellent preparation in science, gives them a sense of accomplishment and confidence, and can provide them with options as they proceed through their last two years of undergraduate education.