A Follow-Up Study of Drake University College of Education Graduates in Counseling and Personnel Services 1973-1978
Means, William J.
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The problem. It is important that institutions of higher education identify program objectives and assess the results of their efforts to train students in these objectives. This is particularly true for institutions offering professional training. Institutions need knowledge about the graduates' evaluations of their programs to assist in decision making about program development and effectiveness. This study was to collect data from recent graduates of the Counseling and Personnel Services programs in an attempt to determine how well their programs prepared them for their chosen vocations, and to provide input to the College of Education for their consideration in program development and evaluation. Procedure. University records were used to locate the names and addresses of the August 1973 through August 1978 graduates of Drake University's College of Educationn Department of Counseling and Personnel Services. Survey questionnaires requesting demographic, educational, and employment data, and containing educational goal and instructional objective statements reflecting the philosophy of the Department were adopted. Using a procedure of an initial mailing and two subsequent follow-up mailings, a return of 72 percent of the possible number of 180 was obtained. The data obtained indicated the percentage of positive response by objectives considered appropriate or desirable by the faculty. The data was divided into subgroups based on program level and emphasis. It was then possible to test the hypothesis that no difference existed between or among the various groups, using the two percentage figures. Data from the related parent studies completed by Means in 1973 and Prine in 1975 were used to test the hypothesis that no difference in the percentages of the responses occurred among these three studies. Findings. The graduates' evaluations of their program objectives roughly paralleled the findings of the earlier two studies. While the program objectives were rated less positively in training effectiveness, a higher percentage were employed consistent with their individual degree objective(s) and as counselors than previously reported. Conclusion. The major strengths of the program were the flexibility in selecting elective courses and the attitude of the faculty toward students. The respondents expressed the need for more varied experiences and increased supervision by experienced counselors during the practicum and internship segments of their programs.
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