THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A SUCCESSFUL DUAL CREDIT HIGH SCHOOL GEOSCIENCES PROGRAM: A CASE HISTORY FROM KERN COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
The initial contribution by CSUB consisted of field trips and visits to the CSUB geology Department. When the course was later offered for dual credit at CSUB , more formalized criteria were set by the geology department and the administration. These included requirements for the teacher training as well as standardization of course content and a registration process that included a small fee. The course contributed to the department by increasing enrollment at no extra expense during a difficult budget period and by exposing high school students to geosciences at a time when they were considering college enrollment and the choice of a major.
Eventually Ridgeview High approached CSUB to create a dual credit geosciences class. The primary concern of Ridgeview’s administration was that the course needed to add rigor, offer students a choice not previously available, and not detract from existing programs. To increase the attractiveness of the class, Ridgeview applied for University of California Honors status. This enhanced GPA status and resulted in a growth in enrollment.
In 2011 CSUB successfully applied for a grant from the NSF program Opportunities for Enhancing Diversity in the Geosciences. The grant was substantially increased by a donation from Chevron and several donations from local geological societies. This enabled expansion of the program to four additional area high schools and increased the funding for field trips. Currently, the main limiting factor is the lack of high school teachers with geosciences degrees.