CREATING COMMUNITY AND GROWING PROGRAMS AT COMMUNITY COLLEGES: A LEGACY OF SAGE 2YC AND THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF HEATHER MACDONALD
However, despite these challenges and with the guidance of Heather Macdonald, the SAGE 2YC Faculty as Change Agents programs, and the network of practitioners she worked to create, faculty across the nation have worked to develop programs specifically designed to 1) increase diversity and enrollment within geoscience programs, 2) increase student success and retention in geoscience courses, and 3) provide pathways to four-year institutions and regional career opportunities.
At Suffolk County Community College with the assistance of SAGE 2YC programs and network, and guided by the work of Hosch & Bowie, 2010; Maltese & Tai, 2011; and O'Connell & Holmes, 2011 that documented the factors influencing student willingness to major and persist in the sciences, faculty have developed a geoscience program designed to reach and teach the whole student.
Beginning at the course level faculty have adopted pedagogical practices to enhance students’ academic performance and metacognitive abilities as well as their understanding of regional career opportunities.
At programmatic levels faculty have created educational resources aimed at developing students’ science identity and educational and social networks. On regional levels greater cooperation between transfer institutions has led to increasing transfer rates of 2YC students.
Overall, this holistic approach to program development has increased participation in geoscience courses and created a science community similar to those that exist at four-year institutions.