The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

TCC, UTA partnership encourages new students to major in geosciences

By Marley Malenfant/feature editor

To attract new students to the geosciences, Tarrant County College and the University of Texas at Arlington have partnered to encourage incoming students from underrepresented groups to major in geosciences.

Through a three-year $200,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, the partnership provides mentors, summer field trips and summer research jobs.

The two schools hope the experience 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 UTA.

UTA department of earth and environmental sciences chairman John Whickman said the grant can benefit minority students.

“Hispanics, African-Americans and other minorities are underrepresented in the geosciences workforce compared to the general population, especially in Texas,” he 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.”

NE Campus vice president of teaching and learning Gary Smith said TCC is recruiting 20 students for the program.

Smith said the money will be used for advertising, field trips and books. 

“The money will be used for grant management items such as supplies,” he said. “In addition to the 10-day field trip to the Western part of the U.S., the students will work as research lab assistants at UTA.”

NE assistant professor of geology Hayden Chasteen said the field trip is five days of classes and five days of camping. Students will travel through Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona.

Environmental scientists, oceanographers, hydrologists, geophysicists and seismologists are jobs students can look for with a degree in geoscience, Smith said. Students in the program will work closely with lab professors at UTA.

To apply, students can ask their instructors for a brochure and application. Students who apply for the program must have a GPA greater than 2.8.

NE student Christian Montoya said the grant and the program can benefit freshmen who don’t have a major yet.

“It’s good to see them putting money in where it can really help others, especially minorities,” he said.

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