149 Working Together with Campus Personnel: Encouraging Minority College Students to Take the AMS Climate Studies Course

Monday, 8 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Noriyuki Sato, California State Univ., Chico, Chico, CA

For many students, climatology often is a "found or discovered" subject. That is, students take a course and then find interest in the subject. This is despite the fact that the applied nature of climatology is closely related to and embedded in primary interests of many students. Attracting students who have not already declared to be STEM majors to a science field is difficult, and this difficulty is no different or more difficult for minority college students, especially first-generation students. In Fall 2017, the AMS Climate Studies course package was used in a pre-existing, junior-level Climatology course at California State University, Chico (CSU, Chico) as part of the AMS Climate Studies Diversity Project. In order to encourage minority college students to get interested in climate science, proactive approaches are being taken which require both academic and administrative cooperation. This presentation focuses on three main issues surrounding the implementation of the AMS Climate Studies course: (1) preparation and coordination with relevant campus offices and personnel; (2) results from the actual implementation; and (3) improvement plans for subsequent semesters. Prior to and during the initial implementation of the AMS Climate Studies course, multiple meetings and correspondences were held with relevant personnel at CSU, Chico. Participants included faculty and staff members at different departments and colleges, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (Hispanic Serving Institution), and campus-level academic advisors. This on-going effort is aimed to remove the silo effect in academia and to inform students to the availability of the AMS Climate Studies course. Since the AMS Climate Studies course is designed to be an introductory course, additional resources and assignments were added to implement it at the junior level. This presentation illustrates initial findings of both positive outcomes as well as challenges that still exist, and it shares lessons learned from efforts to seek cooperation at the campus level.
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