Bucking the Trend: Three New Geoscience Programs

Anderson, Steven W.; Flood, Timothy P.; Munk, LeeAnn
January 2006
Journal of Geoscience Education;Jan2006, Vol. 54 Issue 1, p41
Academic Journal
At a time when geoscience departments are being eliminated or dispersed, three new undergraduate geoscience degree-granting programs were approved during the past decade. These programs have grown into sustainable academic entities that maintain solid enrollments and place students into high quality graduate programs and geoscience careers. The curricula at all three institutions focus on graduate school preparation and/or career placement, and include a strong commitment to fieldwork and undergraduate research. Each program has faculty members who have made program development their primary professional goal. The faculty also faced similar challenges in the earl stages of program development, such as having to teach a wide variety of upper division courses, needing to establish program credibility, finding the time and funding necessary for faculty and undergraduate research, obtaining materials for laboratory courses, and recruiting majors. The experience and knowledge gained through the development of these new programs should be valuable for others working to establish new programs and maintain existing programs.


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