This grant is supporting efforts to increase the number and quality of high school geoscience courses in the state of Michigan that provide students with dual credit at major institutions of higher education in the state, through a credit by exam process. This strategy provides a new opportunity to elevate the stature of the geosciences among talented high school students and potentially reach a new generation of students, increase the number of students selecting geoscience careers, and add diversity within the geoscience workforce. This Track 1 project, which is a collaboration between Eastern Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, and the University of Wisconsin - Madison, has three main goals: (1) to train teachers from throughout Michigan to teach the High School Advanced Geology (HSAG) course developed by Mattox and Bolhuis at the 12th grade level; (2) to demonstrate that completing a high quality HSAG course can attract diverse students to geoscience programs; and, (3) to expand the existing consortium of eight colleges and universities that award college credit to students who pass the HSAG Exam. Up to 15 high schools, including several that serve large populations of diverse students, are being prepared to teach the AP-like HSAG class in their own school and have it count for credit at most universities in Michigan. Teachers are being supported with content knowledge, guidance on pedagogy, and the equipment needed to properly teach the class. By the end of the three-year project, it is expected that about 750 students will have taken the HSAG Exam and the number of students taking the course will be greater than 375 students per year. The success rate of a pilot study at Hudsonville High School (80% pass rate with 14% selecting geosciences programs) suggests that this project may have substantial broader impact and ultimately yield around 50 students per year to the geosciences workforce pipeline, with many of these students coming from underrepresented groups. The project has the potential to establish a replicable national model for engaging diverse high school student populations in the geosciences.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Directorate for Geosciences (GEO)
Standard Grant (Standard)
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Jill L. Karsten
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Eastern Michigan University
United States
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