89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Monday, 12 January 2009
Challenges Integrating AMS Ocean Studies into an existing program
Hall 5 (Phoenix Convention Center)
David Grant, Brookdale Community College, Sandy Hook, NJ
Introducing and integrating a new course at a community college presents challenges, including: perceived competition with existing classes, funding, meeting curriculum standards, insuring transferability, department and division approval, facilities, recruitment of targeted populations, and staffing.

Brookdale Community College is centrally located in Monmouth County, NJ, and has established Higher Education Centers (HEC's) in five locations, including two at coastal cities with significant minority populations. The college has offered an oceanography course for over 30 years, operating from space leased from the National Park Service at Fort Hancock, part of Gateway National Recreation Area in lower New York Harbor. Credit and non-credit offerings service over 8,000 participants each year, and programs have received a number of citations, including a USEPA Environmental Quality Award.

Expansion of these programs is planned utilizing the AMS Ocean Studies materials and the Diversity Project, targeting underserved and minority students in these two urban, coastal cities. A “hybrid” course that includes classroom meetings at the HEC's, online participation and lab exercises via the AMS website, and field trip transportation by van to the college's field station at Fort Hancock is planned for 2009. It will present a unique opportunity for students from these areas.

It is anticipated that this project will attract greater numbers of underserved students who lack the means to participate in the college's existing program at Ft. Hancock; as well as encourage more minority participation in science and science education programs. Although many students are eligible for financial aid, additional funding is being sought through the college's Grants and EOF departments.

Offering oceanography at sites other than Sandy Hook will increase enrollment and provide opportunities to a population that is currently underserved. It also serves the college's mission of outreach to the community, may provide opportunities for outside funding, and is great publicity for our efforts to introduce innovative learning techniques.

Supplementary URL: http://ux.brookdalecc.edu/staff/sandyhook/index2-2.html