CoE Assessment Processes 2008-2009


Alumni Survey Senior Survey Employer Interviews
Purpose Our survey of recent undergraduate alumni gathers
  • opinions about their undergraduate program including the quality of preparation in specific curricular outcomes and
  • information about both their work experience and ongoing learning after graduation.
Our exit survey of seniors gathers
  • opinions about high school and first-year preparation for the major,
  • opinions about their undergraduate program including advising and the quality of preparation in specific curricular outcomes,
  • information about co-curricular involvement and plans after graduation, and
  • opinions about how important specific curricular outcomes will be in the workplace.
Our employer interviews are designed to ascertain, for a variety of engineering employment contexts, both
  • employers' definitions of key skills and attitudes in outstanding engineering performances and
  • employers' perceptions of the relative importance of those skills and attitudes.
Survey Recipients Surveys are sent to all CoE alumni who received their undergraduate degree(s) two (2), six (6), and ten (10) years prior to the year of the survey. Surveys are sent to all students who apply for an undergraduate CoE degree in August, December, or May of the academic year of the survey. A sample of twelve employers is selected for each interview administration. Staff from the Engineering Career Resource Center (ECRC) select individuals to interview who have
  • personal knowledge of the work of multiple CoE graduates and
  • an established relationship with ECRC staff to create sufficient trust for a 30-60 minute interview.

The annual set of organizations represented must hire CoE graduates from a variety of majors.

Initial Development In 1998, a survey was developed by the ABET subgroup in consultation with the School of Education. In 1997-1998, a survey was developed by the ABET subgroup in consultation with the School of Education. In 1998, a survey was developed by the ABET subgroup in consultation with ECRC.
History of Modifications
  • Each academic year, the survey has been modified slightly based on feedback from faculty and respondents.
  • In 2003, the survey was revised to clarify scales and enable a web version of the survey. These revisions were made in consultation with the School of Education.
  • Each academic year, the survey has been modified slightly based on feedback from faculty and respondents.
  • In 2003, the survey was revised to make it more parallel to the Alumni Survey and to enable a web version of the survey.
  • In 2007, the survey was revised to incorporate questions about career placement.
  • In 2002, an interview was developed in consultation with ECRC to gain access to employer representatives with substantial knowledge of the work of multiple CoE graduates.
  • For each administration of the interviews, the interview protocol is modified slightly based on feedback from interviewees and faculty.
History of
Survey Distribution & Collection Procedures
  • Since 1998, the survey has been administered annually.
  • From 1998 through 2005, paper surveys have been mailed to the entire target population.
  • From 2002-2006, the paper survey contained an optional URL for the web version of the survey.
  • Since 2006-2007, paper postcards containing a URL are mailed to every recipient.  Email reminders are also sent to recipients of the postcard who also have an email address in our records (~1/3 of the target alumni).
  • Since 1998, the survey has been administered each semester. (The Spring/Summer semester has been included since August 2003).
  • From 1998 through May 2003, paper surveys were handed to recipients within their departments when they applied for their degrees.
  • Since August 2003, this survey has been administered entirely through email invitations and email reminders.
  • In 1999, a paper survey was administered to company representatives at a large career fair on campus.
  • Since 2002, telephone interviews of a sample of 12 employers are conducted bi-annually by ECRC staff.
Data Entry Procedures

Since the change to the web survey, respondents enter all of their own survey data.

Since the change to the web survey, respondents enter all of their own survey data. Telephone interviews are not taped (in order to increase individuals' willingness to respond). ECRC interviewers take notes during each interview and type question-by-question summaries soon after each interview.
Analysis & Comprehensive Reporting
  • Each academic year, comprehensive reports of the results for that survey administration are produced by OSA. Reports include a college-wide report and reports for each undergraduate program. Reports include descriptive statistics by survey question and compilations of verbatim responses to open-ended questions.
  • Reports are posted to the "Assessment for Curricular Improvement" website with an email announcement to all faculty about the posting.
  • Each academic year, comprehensive reports of the results combining the three survey administrations are produced by OSA. Reports include a college-wide report and reports for each undergraduate program. Reports include descriptive statistics by survey question and compilations of verbatim responses to open-ended questions.
  • Reports are posted to the "Assessment for Curricular Improvement" website with an email announcement to all faculty about the posting.
  • For the 1999 employer survey, a comprehensive report was produced by the OSA.
  • For the interviews, OSA performs qualitative analysis on ECRC's interview summaries. The results of the qualitative analysis and the interview summaries are combined in a comprehensive report for each administration of the interviews.
  • Reports are posted to the "Assessment for Curricular Improvement" website with an email announcement to all faculty about the posting.
Selective Presentations of Assessment Results
  • In order to answer the faculty's key questions, OSA triangulates information from the alumni survey, the senior survey, the employer survey/interviews, and the course evaluations.
  • For selective presentations of assessment results OSA distills assessment information. Most often these interpretations are communicated in live presentations (ranging from 15-45 minutes) to CoE decision-makers, such as the department chairs, the curriculum committee, and the ABET coordinators. A few of the selective presentations are made only in published reports, such as annual budget documentation.
  • All the selective presentations are posted on the "Assessment for Curricular Improvement" website.