SUPPORTING STUDENT SUCCESS THROUGH INTENTIONAL PROFESSIONAL PREPARATION: AN EXAMPLE FROM WESTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY
Significantly, Professional Preparation also features presentations from program alumni and other geoscience professionals. These 1+ hour presentations give students a real sense of life after graduation, the breadth of the options that lay before them, and the often circuitous path to gainful employment and/or graduate school. Presenters are commonly employed in traditional geoscience fields, but have also spoken about their work as lawyers, solar energy experts, farmers, and K-12 educators. Program alumni are remarkably willing - even honored - to visit the class to share their stories and provide guidance to each year's graduating class. Most program graduates surveyed indicate that Professional Preparation was an important part of their undergraduate training. Similar programs at other institutions may facilitate student success after graduation.