The potential impact of geoscience bachelor degree programs accreditation has been examined. It has been found that the accreditation's effects on departments and students would differ depending upon the nature of the accreditation system. The effects of a moderately formal system comparable to that used by the American Chemical Society which is a rigid curriculum detailed accounting and review by an external disciplinary board has also been considered. The author's perspectives toward accreditation is that, it will have a negative impact on geoscience departments and their missions to educate both future geoscience and science-literate citizens. The missions can be more effectively accomplished through promoting strong, flexible geoscience departments and professional licensing than by constraining undergraduate geoscience education. Other alternatives to accreditation have been presented: the growing movement to identify the ideas and concepts that characterize geoscience literacy and to publish this synthesis and the creation of community-developed standards which might include big ideas, skills and modes of inquiry that lead to positive student learning outcomes and are of practical benefit to geoscience careers.
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