Highline College offers new geology degree

Scholarships of $1,500 available.

Whether you’re paid six figures to find oil for the production of gasoline or you are working to save the planet by cleaning up the environment, there are a variety of careers available for a geologist.

While students could study geology through an Associate of Arts transfer degree at Highline, Highline College is now better able to reach those who are interested in the study of the earth with its new Associate of Science in geology degree.

“What we’re doing now is creating this degree specifically for students that are transferring in geology and it will allow them to take classes specifically needed to major in geology at a four-year school and receive all the benefits of an Associate of Science degree,” said Eric Baer, a geology instructor who has worked at Highline College for 25 years.

Baer said the following colleges have agreed to accept Highline’s new geology degree: Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, The Evergreen State College, University of Washington, Washington State University, Western Washington University, Heritage University, Pacific Lutheran University and Seattle University.

Carla Whittington, a geology instructor who has been at Highline nearly as long as Baer, said students would essentially step into their bachelor’s degree as a junior. Whereas a regular Associate of Arts transfer degree may cause the student to end up with some gaps in their needed prerequisites to complete a bachelor’s degree in geology.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, there are more geologists employed in the United States than there are biologists. Additionally, Baer said the Washington Occupational Information Service estimates there will be another 1,000 geology job openings in King County throughout the next year.

To help geology students pay for this new degree, the Highline College Foundation will offer a $1,500 scholarship this spring during their scholarship open application period, typically in April.

To learn more about the geology program and the new Associate of Science in geology, visit pathways.highline.edu/stem-pathway/geology.