2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (19–22 October 2014)

Paper No. 94-2
Presentation Time: 8:30 AM


MACDONALD, R. Heather, Department of Geology, College of William & Mary, PO Box 8795, Williamsburg, VA 23187, MCDARIS, John R., Science Education Research Center, Carleton College, 1 North College St, Northfield, MN 55057, KULICK, Katherine M., Modern Languages and Literatures Department, College of William and Mary, PO Box 8795, Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795, BAER, Eric M.D., Geology, Highline College, MS-29-3, 2400 S 240th St, Des Moines, WA 98198, BLODGETT, Robert H., Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Austin Community College, 11928 Stonehollow Drive, Austin, TX 78758 and HODDER, Jan, Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, University of Oregon, PO Box 5389, Charleston, OR 97420

Improving student success is an important priority at two-year colleges (2YCs). The diversity of students in 2YCs can be dramatic: the brightest and the least prepared; a melting pot of cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds, many English Language Learners (ELLs); service members and veterans; retirees and co-enrolled high school students; college graduates needing retraining and homeless individuals. Many students in 2YCs are place-bound, have family obligations, seek employment or transfer within the community served by the college, and work either part-time or full-time. Thus, faculty in 2YCs have both the opportunity and the challenge of teaching students with a wide range of abilities, goals, and preparedness.

The SAGE 2YC program has resources for teaching geoscience to all students, recognizing that supporting student success includes efforts to support students both in and beyond the classroom. Project workshops collect, synthesize, and disseminate resources on strategies such as research experiences, evidence-based teaching practices, developing students’ metacognition skills, supporting student transfer, and career development. They also address supporting particular groups of students: English Language Learners, students with disabilities, neurodiverse students (including those on the autism spectrum), service members and veterans, first-year students, underrepresented minorities, and students with math, science, and/or nature anxieties. The SAGE 2YC website (serc.carleton.edu/sage2yc/) enables dissemination beyond the workshops on topics drawn from workshop content including materials on stereotype threat and solo status, supporting transfer students, geoscience careers and career development, and engaging 2YC students in research experiences. The newest addition is a suite of resources for supporting English Language Learners (ELLs) in 2YC classrooms. These resources include a discussion of cultural and language challenges and recommendations for faculty as well as strategies for enhancing ELL comprehension and retention. The program remains committed to providing faculty with tools to help all students be successful and examples of applications of these tools in 2YC geoscience programs.