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Enhancing Undergraduate Career Services and Skills with Alumni Survey Results. American College Personnel Association March 31, 2014 Angie L. Miller, Ph.D. Amber D. Lambert, Ph.D. Center for Postsecondary Research, Indiana University. Presentation Outline. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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American College Personnel Association March 31, 2014

Angie L. Miller, Ph.D.Amber D. Lambert, Ph.D.Center for Postsecondary Research, Indiana UniversityEnhancing Undergraduate Career Services and Skills with Alumni Survey Results

Presentation OutlineLiterature Review: the need for alumni assessmentSpecific connections to career services

Examples from the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP)Career Outcomes: generating materials for current & prospective studentsProgram Assessment: the importance of opportunities for internshipsCurricular Assessment: aligning with career skills

Literature ReviewThere is an increasing trend for various assessments at colleges and universities (Kuh & Ewell, 2010)

Survey use is popular in higher education (Kuh & Ikenberry, 2009)Students, faculty, administrators, and alumni can provide information for internal purposes (curricular/program revisions, strategic planning) and external purposes (accreditation, benchmarking)

Literature ReviewAlumni surveys provide knowledge of student satisfaction as well as acquired skills, strengths and weaknesses of the institution, and current career attainment

Institutions often encounter difficulty in transforming survey results into actionable plans for improvement

Literature ReviewChanges to curriculum can be difficult to make, but institutions must be reactive to market needs

If institutions do not train students well, the employability of their graduates will decrease (Evers, Rush, & Berdrow, 1998)

In addition to content knowledge from a student's major, institutions also provide other skills such as communication, analytical thinking, and creative thinking (Tait & Godfrey, 1999)

Students nearing completion of their degrees are concerned with potential employment, especially in the current economic climate

Literature ReviewMost, if not all, institutions have some type of career services office:Aimed at providing students with much-needed information on potential careersFocused on pre-graduation work experiences such as internships and other high impact practices (Kuh, 2008)

Certain fields, in particular, have recently been under scrutiny for the career outcomes of their graduates (Carnevale, Cheah, & Strohl, 2012)Career services are under increasing pressure to supply students with assistance in multiple areas of career development

So how can alumni surveys help career services programs expand their functionality and effectiveness?

Examples from the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP)

8SNAAPAs an example, we will present some survey questions, results, and institutional uses from the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP)

What is SNAAP?Online survey designed to assess and improve various aspects of arts school educationInvestigates the educational experiences and career paths of arts graduates nationallyFindings are provided to educators, policymakers, and philanthropic organizations to improve arts training, inform cultural policy, and support artists

Who does SNAAP survey?Participants drawn from:Arts high schoolsIndependent arts collegesArts schools, departments, or programs in comprehensive colleges/universities

Cohort Year Sampling2008 and 2009 Field Tests: 5, 10, 15, & 20 years out2010 Field Test: 1-5, 10, 15, & 20 years out2011 and forward: all years to generate the most comprehensive data possible

Increasing Numbers2011 AdministrationMore than 36,000 respondents66 institutions

2012 AdministrationMore than 33,000 respondents70 institutions

2013 AdministrationMore than 27,000 respondents48 institutions

Now able to combine 2011, 2012, and 2013 respondents to create a SNAAP Database with over 92,000 respondents

Questionnaire TopicsFormal education and degreesInstitutional experience and satisfactionPostgraduate resources for artistsCareerArts engagementIncome and debtDemographics

Career Outcomes Information

*List continues, 45 categories totalCareer Outcomes Information

*List continues, 45 categories total

Career Outcomes Information

In 2011 & 2012 data, 80% of alumni reported they were very satisfied or somewhat satisfied as their overall job satisfaction Because it is also important that alumni are satisfied in their work, in addition to just being employed. Those spending a majority of their time in arts-related fields (i.e. those that align with major) are more intrinsically satisfied. 15

This web page from Kent State shares aggregate SNAAP findings to make the case for a visual arts education. 16

The Herron School posted an article about an alumna that ties in to SNAAP. 17

The Herron School of Art and Design created a recruitment brochure based on its alumni achievements. This page includes comments from the SNAAP survey. 18

Herron (Creativity) 2 of 219Program Assessment: Services

Here, we distinguish program assessment (extra-curricular or non-credit programs) from curricular assessment (courses of study). 20Program Assessment: Services

Programs and services with low satisfaction may need to be revised

Career advising had 59% report either very dissatisfied or somewhat dissatisfied

Additional resources could be devoted to developing new components of career advising such as:Alumni career panel presentationsRsum or portfolio building sessionsNetworking opportunities for graduating students21Program Assessment: Internships

Data suggests that pre-graduation internship experiences are important for future success

Program Assessment: Internships

Those who completed internships were more satisfied with their overall institutional experience

Program Assessment: Internships

Those who completed an internship also found a job faster, found jobs that were more closely related to their training, and were more likely to currently be working in an arts-related field Program Assessment: Internships

Equity concerns: it is important to make sure opportunities for internships are promoted to all students

First generation respondents were less likely to have completed an internship

University of Utah example: Found that more than half (51%) of undergraduate arts alumni are dissatisfied with the career advising their school offered, as are 43% of graduate arts alumni. Listening to these concerns, the College of Fine Arts developed an Emerging Leaders Program. This program offers high-stakes internships, mini-grants, and peer-mentoring opportunities designed to prepare students for their transition into the world of work.

26Curricular Assessment: Skills

The SNAAP survey asks alumni to rate the importance of 16 different skills and competencies to their current profession or work life (whether they work in the arts or in a different occupation). 27Curricular Assessment: Skills

This question asks how much the institution helped the respondent acquire or develop each of the 16 skills and abilities. 28Curricular Assessment: Skills

Identify strengths: What skills have the highest % of alumni reporting the institution helped them develop very much or quite a bit?Identify areas for improvement: What skills have the highest % of alumni reporting the institution helped them develop very little or not at all?Peer group information provides context: Do other institutions have similar strengths and weaknesses?29Examples From Aggregate Findings

This chart shows the 2011 overall responses to three of the skills questions. An interpretation of how to analyze these findings is contained on the next slide. 30Curricular Assessment: Skills

Alumni receive strong training in learning artistic techniques

Discrepancies between those who say a skill is important for their work and those who say the institution helped them develop that skill suggest some improvements that could be made, such as:Requiring business and financial classes, or incorporating these elements into existing courses Include classes looking at the nontraditional career paths of arts graduates31Curricular Assessment: Skills

Triangulate data with qualitative responses

Institutions can use this information to stress the importance of certain skills to current students, or address curricular areas for improvement if the training is not relevant

VCU Arts example. Found discrepancies in business skills used vs. skills learned and introduced a new minor to address this.33

VCU Arts example continued- Specific courses developed34ConclusionsAssessing alumni can provide important information for career service offices, including:Career outcomes information, which can help generate materials for students seeking advice on a major to align with career options

Specific program assessment, which can provide data needed to enhance opportunities for internship experiences that promote future success

Curricular improvements, which can better synchronize classroom experiences with necessary post-graduation skills

35Questions or Comments?Contact Information:Angie L. Miller anglmill@indiana.eduAmber D. Lambert adlamber@indiana.edu

Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP)www.snaap.indiana.edu(812) 856-5824snaap@indiana.edu

ReferencesCarnevale, A.P., Cheah, B., & Strohl, J. (2012). College majors, unemployment, and earnings: Not all college degrees are created equal. Washington, DC: Center of Education and the Workforce, Georgetown University.

Evers, F.T., Rush, J.C., & Berdrow, I. (1998). The bases of competence: Skills for lifelong learning and employability. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Kuh, G.D. (2008). High-imp


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