The geosciences have traditionally been viewed with less "aCademic prTstige" than other science curricula. Among the results of this perception are depressed K-16 enrollments, Earth Science assignments to lower-performing students, and relegation of these classes to sometimes under-qualified educators, all of which serve to confirm the widely-held misconceptions. An Earth Systems course developed at San Jos??e State University demonstrates the difficulty of a standard high school Earth science curriculum, while recognizing the deficiencies in pre-college Earth science education. Restructuring pre-college science curricula so that Earth Science is placed as a capstone course would greatly improve student understanding of the geosciences, while development of Earth systems courses that infuse real-world and hands-on learning at the college level is critical to bridging the information gap for those with no prior exposure to the Earth sciences. Well-crafted workshops for pre-service and inservice teachers of Earth Science can heIp to reverse the trends and unfortunate "sTatus" in geoscience education.