Paper No. 133-7
Presentation Time: 3:20 PM
GEO-LAUNCHPAD: PREPARING COLORADO COMMUNITY COLLEGE STUDENTS FOR GEOSCIENCE-FOCUSED CAREERS
Geo-Launchpad (GLP) is a collaborative effort between UNAVCO, a non-profit, university-governed consortium that facilitates geoscience research and education, and Front Range Community College (FRCC), Colorado’s largest community college. Designed as a pre-REU summer internship experience, GLP helps students develop research-ready skills, and provides support in envisioning and creating a career path in science, engineering, or technology. The overall goal of GLP is to broaden participation in the geosciences and encourage pursuit of degrees in geoscience or related STEM majors. The Geo-Launchpad program has five specific goals: 1) serve lower-division university and community college students from underrepresented groups, 2) build student interest in geosciences and related careers, 3) engage students in collaborative research projects in the geosciences that develop and improve research-ready skills, 4) strengthen professional development skills, and 5) provide ongoing support for students choosing to pursue degrees in geosciences and related fields.
In Summer 2016, UNAVCO hosted five interns who worked on research-support projects with UNAVCO staff. The interns participated in professional development activities within their cohort as well as jointly with other UNAVCO internship programs. Interns highlight the weekly discussions with geoscience professionals as a beneficial and useful part of their summer internship, and report an increase in awareness of academic and career pathways in the geosciences.