A Follow-up Study of Drake University College of Education Graduates (December 1971-August 1973)
Prine, Donald L.
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The problem. Institutions of higher education have not escaped the call for accountability. Those who wish to hold colleges and universities accountable are demanding that the institutions identify and measure the results of their efforts. The purpose of assessing educational outcomes is to produce information upon which decisions can be based. Absence of knowledge about the graduates' evaluation of an institution's programs, or the extent to which graduates are perceived to be performing the activities necessary to effectively display mastery of the stated objectives of the particular education program from which they had received instruction, seriously inhibits the various components of an institutional community in their respective decision making functions. This study resulted from the need to devise and implement a process to evaluate the Drake University College of Education programs and graduates. Procedure. University records were utilized to locate the names and addresses of the December, 1971 through August, 1973 graduates of Drake University's College of Education and the graduates enrolled in colleges other than the College of Education but who had completed teacher education programs in the College of Education. Survey instruments requesting demographic data and containing educational goal and instructional objective statements reflecting the philosophy of the College of Education programs were adopted and mailed to 689 graduates, and their supervisors who had been identified and assigned to one of seven appropriate program sample groups. Survey instruments were returned by 205 graduates, and 142 of their supervisors. A Delphi Technique was employed to determine a consensus of opinion of the Drake University College of Education professional staff regarding a value standard for existing educational program objectives that would reflect a satisfactory level of program evaluation by graduates, and would reflect a satisfactory standard against which graduates were perceived by their superiors to be performing the activities necessary to effectively display mastery of the stated objectives of the particular educational program from which they had received instruction. The data collected indicated the percentage of positive response by objective considered appropriate or desirable by the faculty. Two sets of data were available for comparison: first, the percentage of positive response by objective considered appropriate or desirable by the faculty, and second, the actual response by objective on the questionnaires expressed as percent of positive response. Using the two percentage figures for each objective, it was possible to test the hypothesis that no difference existed between desired percent of positive response and actual percent of positive response. Findings and conclusions. As a consequence of this study data was analyzed that suggests that Drake University College of Education graduates are generally finding employment in the education profession, but not consistently in their area of specialized training. The graduates' perception of the relative adequacy of various aspects of the program roughly parallel the faculty's perception of program emphasis, but supervisors generally rate the graduates' performance of the objectives of Drake's program in a more positive manner than the graduates rate the same program objectives. There is a relative weakness or lack of emphasis as perceived by both faculty and graduates in the program objectives associated with community education, participation in professional groups, directing extra curricular activities, budget preparation and office management. The basic evaluation design used in this study can be integrated into continuing curriculum development and staff development processes by the Drake University College of Education.