AAS 197, January 2001
Session 86. Innovations in Teaching Astronomy I
Joint Display, Wednesday, January 10, 2001, 9:30am-7:00pm, Exhibit Hall

[Previous] | [Session 86] | [Next]

[86.03] Astronomy Instruction at a Two-year Technical College

C. J. Sirola (Tri-County Technical College)

Over half of all students now begin their college careers at two-year institutions (technical colleges, junior colleges, vocational schools, etc.). This shift in student demographics has broad implications for college-level science instruction, including astronomy instruction.

We compare astronomy instruction at two-year institutions to that at traditional four-year universities. A typical two-year school like Tri-County Technical College profers challenges not typically faced by research universities such as lack of research funding, little equipment or facilities, and a generally lower level of student ability. Conversely, a Tri-County Tech offers opportunities such as extensive training in teaching methodologies, a wide range of student demographics, and small classroom sizes.

Our students are rarely interested in astronomy as a major, but instead take astronomy to fulfill other major requirements or to ensure the transfer of science credits to four-year universities. We present several examples of astronomy instruction at Tri-County Technical College and discuss our philosophy of teaching in a post-secondary environment whose enrollment is on the rise.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: csirola@tricounty.tec.sc.us

[Previous] | [Session 86] | [Next]