Bridging Nongeoscience STEM Majors to the Geoscience Workforce through a Skills Training and Enrichment Program

Blake, Reginald ; Liou-Mark, Janet ; Norouzi, Hamidreza ; Vladutescu, Viviana ; Yuen-Lau, Laura ; Ikramova, Malika

Année de publication

New York City College of Technology has created a year-round geoscience workforce preparation and geoscience career mentoring program for nongeoscience, minority science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) students beginning at the critical juncture of their junior year. The overall goal of the program is to create a viable pathway to the geoscience workforce by tapping into a nontraditional pool of students. Each year 12 students are recruited to participate in a structured geoscience workforce model program that consists of geoscience exposure, preparation, apprenticeship, and experience. The students not only receive support with cohort-building activities, but they also participate in two geoscience internship programs that equip them with geoscience knowledge; geoscience workforce skills; summer internships at a federal, local, or private geoscience facilities; mentoring by geoscience practitioners; and networking opportunities with geoscience companies and geoscience professional societies. The expectation through this unique initiative is that many students who would otherwise not pursue a geoscience career may now choose to follow a geoscience corridor that could lead to lucrative geoscience careers. This paper focuses on the 4-day geoscience workforce skills training and enrichment component of the program. This important enrichment component pivots students from the geoscience theory taught in class to geoscience applications and workforce preparedness. The 4-day program may serve as a model and best practice for preparing nongeoscience STEM students with the skills needed for the geoscience workforce. Preliminary results show that the nongeoscience STEM student participants increased their geoscience awareness, knowledge, and skills competencies and their interest in the geosciences was heightened.

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