UT Arlington and Tarrant County College are partnering to encourage students from underrepresented groups to consider
majoring in the geosciences and to establish an easy transfer process between
TCC and UT Arlington.
Officials from the two
institutions have received a $200,000, three-year grant from the National
Science Foundation’s Opportunities
to Enhance Diversity in the Geosciences program. John Wickham, professor and
chair of UT Arlington’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, is the
principal investigator for the grant. Co-principal investigators are Pamela
Jansma, dean of the UT Arlington College of Science; Gary Smith, TCC interim vice
president for academic affairs and dean of science; and Glen Mattioli, UT
Arlington professor of earth and environmental sciences.
“Hispanics, African Americans and other
minorities are underrepresented in the geosciences workforce compared to the
general population, especially in Texas,” Wickham said. “Projections of job
growth in the energy industry, natural resource management and other
geoscience-related fields suggest that without attracting more of these
underrepresented groups to the geosciences, the United States will have to use
foreign nationals to fill the need over the next decade.”
To attract new
students to the geosciences, the partnership provides mentors, summer field
trips and summer research jobs. These learning experiences will encourage
freshmen and sophomore students at both institutions to take geosciences, earn
an Associate of Science degree from TCC and go on to earn at least a bachelor’s
degree at UT Arlington.
“In addition to providing a
strong educational background in geology, the TCC faculty will work with
students on such topics as how to be successful in college and career choices,”
Smith said. “The grant will provide a mechanism for the faculty to monitor
student success and have early intervention if necessary. We hope that this
program will be so successful that it will become a national model.”
Organizers will recruit 20
underrepresented students for the program.
Students will be
expected to successfully take introductory courses in geology, chemistry,
biology, math and physics during their first two years and take part in a
summer program. The summer program will consist of a field trip experience at
the end of the first year and research experience with UT Arlington faculty at
the end of their second year.
University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of
33,421 students in the heart of North Texas. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.
The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.