SUPPORTING AND ADVANCING GEOSCIENCE EDUCATION AT A 2YC: LESSONS FROM THE SAGE 2YC – FACULTY AS CHANGE AGENTS PROJECT AT DELTA COLLEGE
Course outcome data provides insight into student representation and success overall and within demographic groups. Geoscience course student demographics closely mirror those of the college and our community in terms of ethnicity, but our courses include more traditional “college age” and fewer Pell-eligible students than Delta College as a whole. Student success (as measured by course pass rates) was correlated with utilization of research-based teaching strategies. Physical Geology sections taught by a SAGE 2YC faculty who utilized active learning strategies, taught to the whole student, and focused on developing students’ self-efficacy had higher pass rates (87%) than sections taught by non-SAGE 2YC faculty utilizing different teaching strategies (72%.) Although student success is a complicated phenomenon, our data support the idea that using these strategies support greater student success and course satisfaction. Student success in Physical Geology varied demographically, with African-American students and students older than 25 having lower levels of course success than other groups. This information challenges us to investigate how course structure as well as teaching and learning strategies might impact these students and how we can support all students more effectively.
A specific organization or regular professional development activity serving 2YC faculty teaching geosciences or environmentally related courses in our region is lacking. 15 faculty from 9 Michigan 2YCs are the backbone of a newly created professional network. We hope this currently informal network can further the goals of SAGE 2YC through future workshops, a website dedicated to case studies and news of interest to Michigan geoscience faculty, and personal and professional connections we’ve made.