GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 133-1
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM


EMERSON, Norlene R., Department of Geography and Geology, University of Wisconsin - Richland, 1200 Hwy 14 West, Richland Center, WI 53581-1316, BAER, Eric M.D., Geology, Highline College, MS-29-3, 2400 S 240th St, Des Moines, WA 98198, MACDONALD, R. Heather, Department of Geology, College of William and Mary, PO Box 8795, Williamsburg, VA 23187, ORMAND, Carol J., Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College, 1 North College St, Northfield, MN 55057, LAYOU, Karen M., School of Math, Science and Engineering, Reynolds Community College, PO Box 85622, PRC, Richmond, VA 23285 and HODDER, Jan, Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, University of Oregon, PO Box 5389, Charleston, OR 97420,

Effective and efficient transfer of students from two-year colleges to undergraduate bachelors programs in the geosciences is a critical issue in addressing national workforce needs, diversifying the geoscience workforce, and assuring equal educational access for all citizens. Challenges to smooth transfer exist and vary from state to state and institution to institution. Despite this variability, common challenges include early identification of geoscience majors, appropriate advising, timely career information, and lack of curricular alignment between 2YCs-4YCUs.

The SAGE 2YC project (Supporting and Advancing Geoscience Education in Two-year Colleges) has developed a set of online resources ( to help faculty and students minimize the challenges of transfer in the geosciences. The website includes pages about early recruitment of majors, supportive advising for the transfer process, minimizing transfer shock, 2YC-4YCU collaborations that serve transfer students, and profiles of NSF-funded GeoPaths projects that have strong strategies for supporting 2YC-4YCU transfer. While each of the GeoPaths projects profiled offers a customized solution to their 2YC-4YCU geoscience transfer challenges, each profile contains a short project description, the context of the project, goals, project activities, the theory of change, and the instruments and measures of success that will be used to evaluate outcomes. These GeoPaths project pages provide a centrally located collection of programs that showcase a range of projects and specific activities addressing the challenges of 2YC-4YCU student transfer along with the tools used to measure the outcomes of each project. SAGE 2YC is also in the process of developing a pay-attention matrix, compiled from literature research, of evidence-based practices that make a difference in supporting the success of all students including effective transfer of geoscience students. The matrix includes strategies that individual faculty can employ as well those that are more effective at the department, program, and institutional level.