PROMOTING GEOSCIENCE EDUCATION THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL DUAL CREDIT PROGRAMS
Geoscience curricula in many Lake County K-12 schools have been either nonexistent, poorly established, attended by the least prepared students, taught by unqualified teachers, or any combination of the above. As one of the many programs used by the Earth Science Department to promote geoscience education in K-12 schools, the dual credit programs have effectively helped establish and strengthen geoscience curricula in Lake County high schools. For example, Stevenson High School, the largest and one of the most prestigious high schools in Lake County, had no geoscience program before the dual credit Earth Science program was offered at the high school in 2011. In Round Lake High School, which serves a large Hispanic population and has few monetary resources, honors students have been enrolling in its Earth Science dual credit program since 2009. Our dual credit Earth Science programs have influenced many students to choose the geosciences as their major field of study for their college degrees. Qualified high school science teachers who meet the college’s criteria for adjunct faculty members are teaching the dual credit program in each of the eight high schools. The instructors are required to attend two training workshops per semester, where they discuss teaching strategies and tips, challenges and possible solutions, to ensure high academic quality and consistency.