Introductory geosciences at the two-year college: Factors that influence student transfer intent with geoscience degree aspirations

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Articles and Special Issues
Wolfe, B. A. (2018). Introductory geosciences at the two-year college: Factors that influence student transfer intent with geoscience degree aspirations. Journal of Geoscience Education, 66(1), 36-54. DOI: 10.1080/10899995.2018.1411740
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The geosciences continue to lag behind the other sciences in both diversity and degree completion rates of students transferring from two-year colleges (2YCs). Critical to strengthening the transfer student pipeline is the need to identify who takes introductory geosciences courses at the 2YC level and what factors contribute to increased 2YC student transfer intent for those interested in pursuing geoscience degrees. This study uses data collected from 708 student respondents to a pretransfer study survey administered in introductory geoscience courses at 26 unique 2YCs to gain an understanding of the influence that background characteristics, academic engagement experiences (e.g. faculty–student interaction, undergraduate research experiences, and field-based educational experiences), and academic advisor engagement have on 2YC geoscience student transfer intent. Sequential multiple regression findings revealed a number of factors that predict higher geoscience transfer intent, including age, high school math preparation, having taken an Earth science course in high school, the number of science courses taken at the 2YC, student– faculty interaction, and faculty and academic advisors discussing physical science careers. The results also demonstrated that field-based educational experiences have a significant role in increasing student intent to transfer pursuing geoscience degrees. Findings presented point to the need to develop practices focused on transfer student capital acquisition and supports the proposition that 2YCs can serve as an intervention point to broaden participation in the geosciences.

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This page last updated 18 May 2019 - 11:43pm