Developing Dispositions to Help Students Succeed in the Workforce

Thursday 1:30pm-4:00pm
Afternoon Mini Workshop


Karen Viskupic, Boise State University
Kaelyn Lagerwall, Boise State University
Anne Egger, Central Washington University

Recent work by Shafer et al. (2023) and unpublished employer interview data identified dispositions that employers of entry-level geoscientists are seeking. Such dispositions include a desire to learn, initiative, positive attitude, attention to detail, and professionalism. In this workshop we will explore strategies for explicitly helping students to recognize and develop these dispositions such as reflection assignments, self-assessments, discussions of examples and non-examples, and personal development plans.


By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Summarize desired dispositions in the geoscience workforce
  • Evaluate strategies for helping students develop desired dispositions
  • Create an action plan for explicitly incorporating disposition development into their own teaching or mentoring context


1:30 Welcome and introductions

1:45 Review and discuss skills and dispositions needed in the geoscience workforce

2:00 Discuss strategies for developing dispositions

2:20 Break

2:40 Gallery tour for matching strategies and dispositions, and for troubleshooting implementation

3:10 Share key takeaways from the gallery tour

3:20 Action planning for incorporating disposition development into individual teaching/mentoring contexts

3:45 Wrap-up and workshop evaluation

4:00 Adjourn


Shafer, G.W., Viskupic, K., Egger, A.E. (2023). Critical workforce skills for bachelor-level geoscientists: An analysis of geoscience job advertisements, Geosphere.