ERIC Number: ED314105
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
Critical Issues in Science Education in Two-Year Colleges: 1990 and Beyond.
Parilla, Robert E.
For millions of students, two-year college education represents the last real opportunity to develop an interest in science, mathematics, or engineering and to develop the prerequisite skills for a career in these fields. Yet, two-year college students represent a largely untapped pool of scientific personnel. Two-year college science and engineering programs share the same problems faced by four-year institutions. Retention is poor, with many students losing interest and switching majors and others being frustrated by the lack of preparation needed for success in science and mathematics courses. Only 20% of the community college students who enroll in a given science, mathematics, or engineering course plan to pursue a bachelor's degree in those areas. The reversal of this trend requires colleges to provide challenging, stimulating prerequisite or support courses, and the faculty to motivate students to continue their study. In addition, problems faced by faculty, including heavy teaching loads, isolation, the inability to keep current in their disciplines, and burnout, must be alleviated. Many of these problems have resulted from the abandonment of the classical notion of the scholar-professor and the resulting insulation of the craft of teaching from the scholarship that nourishes it. Faculty need this opportunity to be active and to explore current thinking in the disciplines they have chosen if their professional growth is to continue and they are to avoid burnout. At Montgomery College in Maryland, this challenge has been addressed through a scholarly activities program which allows faculty reassigned time to pursue such activities as writing a paper, participating in a performing arts activity, completing an artistic work, or creating a bibliography of current works in their field. The excellent community college should reward good teaching, and good teaching should show evidence of current and active scholarship. (JMC)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: Montgomery Coll., Rockville, MD.