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What should be on an alumni/exit survey?

March 8, 2011

Some of the content for an alumni survey or exit survey seems to spring to mind readily, but some important questions are too often not being asked, because faculty are afraid of what the answers might be.  One of the most important question types is something which asks “which course (if any) did you take in our program that you found to be pointless, worthless, inappropriate, outdated, outmoded, etc.?

Sometimes, programs are saddled with outdated or pointless courses for various reasons which we need not go into, since that’s for a different blog on department politics!  On the other hand, most times the faculty connected to these vestigial offerings will get the motivation they need to make changes, either by updating the course content or working with colleagues to change the curriculum entirely, when confronted with negative appraisals of a course from former students who went through the entire major.  Criticism from these students is usually constructive, and programs should take it seriously as part of the assessment routine.


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