Paper No. 147-1
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM

SHOWCASING SUCCESSFUL STRATEGIES FOR SUPPORTING MINORITY STUDENTS IN THE GEOSCIENCES


MCDARIS, John R., Science Education Research Center, Carleton College, 1 North College St, Northfield, MN 55057, jmcdaris@carleton.edu, WATSON NELSON, Tenea M., Office of Multicultural Affairs, Stanford School of Earth Sciences, 397 Panama Mall, Stanford, CA 94305-2210, EGGER, Anne E., Dept. of Geological Sciences, Central Washington University, 400 E. University Way, Ellensburg, WA 98926-7418, MANDUCA, Cathryn A., Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College, Northfield, MN 55057, and WILLIAMS, Quinton, Department of Physics, Atmospheric Science, and Geosciences, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS 39217
Students from minority populations (specifically African-American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, and Pacific Islander) have historically been and continue to be underrepresented in the geosciences, even more than other STEM disciplines. In the face of this reality, many institutions that focus on undergraduate education endeavor to reach out to these students. Minority serving institutions (MSIs) play a critical role in educating minority students in the geosciences. Programs at these institutions are designed with deep knowledge of the needs and culture of a particular underrepresented group and their successes may provide insight to others. For example, many MSIs do not have traditional geoscience programs, and instead highlight connections of interest to the communities they serve. Thus, they provide models of innovative programs for broadening access to the geosciences.

As a way of making the successes of these programs more visible, InTeGrate offers a suite of profile pages showcasing various ways in which MSIs are increasing and supporting minority students studying geoscience, developed via interviews with faculty and staff in geoscience-related programs at MSIs. Each profile gives context about the school, provides links to information about the available geoscience degree program(s), describes efforts to attract new students, highlights support mechanisms for students as they work towards their degree, and cites ways that the program prepares students for careers that will utilize their geoscience expertise. Visitors to the site can see examples of programs that reach out to high school students to get them interested in the geosciences, partner with other institutions to grant geoscience degrees, or nurture a sense of belonging among their majors.

InTeGrate is focused on fostering the development of curricular materials and programs that teach geoscience in the context of societal issues, an approach that many MSIs have already embraced. The project’s approach capitalizes on previous projects like Building Strong Geoscience Departments, which have shown that sharing models for curriculum design and program structure with the community results in more successful programs.

http://serc.carleton.edu/integrate/programs/minority.html