2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 187-12
Presentation Time: 11:00 AM


MACDONALD, R. Heather, Department of Geology, College of William and Mary, PO Box 8795, Williamsburg, VA 23187, LAYOU, Karen M., School of Math, Science and Engineering, Reynolds Community College, PO Box 85622, PRC, Richmond, VA 23285, MCDARIS, John R., Science Education Research Center, Carleton College, 1 North College St, Northfield, MN 55057, 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, 1212 Rio Grande Street, Austin, TX 78701-1785 and HODDER, Jan, Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, University of Oregon, PO Box 5389, Charleston, OR 97420, rhmacd@wm.edu

The SAGE 2YC program (Supporting and Advancing Geoscience Education in Two-year Colleges) provides online resources for faculty to help students navigate the transition from a two-year college (2YC) to a four-year college or university (4YCU). Faculty at 2YCs play a key role in identifying and advising students who are interested in geoscience and providing assignments and activities that promote the skills and interactions necessary for success at a four-year institution. Faculty at 4YCs play a key role in providing opportunities and support for 2YC students before, during, and after the transition. Supporting students through this transition includes 1) identifying students with an interest in pursuing geoscience, 2) helping them understand pathways to geoscience, 3) providing experiences in and beyond the classroom that develop the skills and attributes important for success at a 4YCU, 4) helping them develop a plan to transfer and achieve their goals, and 5) continuing to provide advice and support after they transfer. The SAGE 2YC (http://serc.carleton.edu/sage2yc/index.html) web resources on transfer help faculty support students in the transfer process.

Personal interactions and encouragement from faculty are important for giving 2YC students confidence to consider their transfer options. Geoscience faculty at 2YCs can maximize support of transfer students by developing students’ fundamental geoscience skills and providing relevant co-curricular and professional development opportunities. After students have shown an interest in exploring transfer options, faculty can provide advice regarding 2YC degree completion and 4YCU transfer requirements, discuss career opportunities and pathways, facilitate interactions with professional geoscientists, and encourage students to develop a proactive career plan. Transfer to a new institution and adjustment to unfamiliar academic and social cultures can be stressful, and faculty can work to lessen “transfer shock”. Building 2YC and 4YCU connections through joint field trips, early research experiences at local 4YCUs, and cross-institution visits can ease the transition. Providing support before, during, and after transfer is important given the number of baccalaureate students starting their undergraduate education at 2YCs.