GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 187-6
Presentation Time: 9:15 AM


BRUNO, Barbara C.1, WREN, Johanna L.K.1, NOA, Keolani2, WOOD-CHARLSON, Elisha M.1, AYAU, Jessica1, LEON SOON, Sherril1, NEEDHAM, Heidi3 and CHOY, Anela4, (1)University of Hawaii, 1000 Pope Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, (2)Kapiolani Community College, Honolulu, HI 96816, (3)Geography, University of Hawaii, 2424 Maile Way, Honolulu, HI 96822, (4)MBARI, Moss Landing, CA 95039,

Summer bridge programs can be an effective method of introducing potential STEM students to geoscience (i.e., ocean, earth and environmental science) majors and of expanding and diversifying undergraduate enrollment. This paper focuses on a weeklong summer program offered by a minority-serving (inc. Native-Hawaiian-serving) community college in partnership with a research university. To evaluate program efficacy, we developed a nine-question survey to measure familiarity with geoscience majors, perceptions about geoscience, self-efficacy, and desire to pursue geoscience majors and careers. Sixty-four students participated in the program over a three-year period. Approximately two-thirds of students are from groups that are underrepresented in STEM and approximately one-third is Native Hawaiian. Only a small number of these students expressed interest in geoscience majors prior to program participation, and many were not even aware that geoscience majors existed. By the end of the weeklong program, the students showed learning gains on all nine questions, and eight of these gains were statistically significant. To date, five summer bridge alumni (four Native Hawaiian) have declared geoscience majors, representing 31% of our university's Native Hawaiian geoscience enrollment. This suggests that partnering with a minority-serving community college may be an effective, time-efficient way of diversifying enrollment in geoscience majors. Recommendations for how to develop and implement a model program will be shared during this presentation.