Fall 2012, Number 3

Assessment Newsletter

This newsletter is intended to:

  • Share key assessment findings
  • Promote the use of assessment information
  • Provide updates on assessment-related efforts

Class of 2011 One-Year-Out Alumni Survey

On that beautiful day in May, they were beaming with joy in caps and gowns. Now it's been one year after graduation. How well do they do in the "real world"?  

Despite economic difficulty and job market uncertainty, Gettysburg College baccalaureate outcomes as indicated by job placement and graduate school attendance continue to be strong. Within a year after graduation, Gettysburg graduates reported:

Employed (full time or part time) and/or attending graduate school
(full time or part time)
Still seeking employment (and not attending graduate school) 4%
Other/Plan to attend graduate school (not employed, not seeking employment) 4%

Of those attending graduate school: 54% pursue a doctoral degree, a jump from 31% of Class of 2009.

For those alumni who reported being employed full time, the most popular and successful job search methods were: Internet; Friends and family. 13% reported having used faculty contacts, 59% of these graduates reported the method was successful.

The survey was sent out from Career Development Center and lasted from March to mid May 2012. Participation rate was 37%.

There has been a significant increase in the % of graduates employed full time or attending graduate school full time within one year after graduation, as shown in chart below.    Wanting to know employers by major? Read More alumni

Five-Year-Out Alumni Survey (Class of 2006)

The Office of Institutional Analysis conducted a five-year-out alumni survey in Fall 2011. 33% of the Gettysburg graduating Class of 2006 participated in the survey, exceeding the average participation rate for other PA independent colleges (which was 23%). Compared with a REACH institution (located in PA):

  G-burg REACH Institution
Employed 91% 85%
Unemployed, seeking work 2% 2%
Satisfied with training received as an undergraduate in:
Reading or speaking a foreign language 67% 55%
Quantitative abilities 76% 82%
Gaining in-depth knowledge of a field 83% 87%
Analyzing and drawing conclusions from various types of data 89% 95%
Leading and supervising tasks and groups of people 85% 88%

43% of Gettysburg alumni have completed a graduate degree program; 25% are enrolled in a graduate degree program. After adjustment, 59% of Gettysburg alumni have completed or are currently enrolled in a graduate degree program five years after graduation.

68% of Gettysburg alumni participate in community service or volunteer (REACH institution: 62%). 97% are registered to vote in U.S. elections.

"Is the value of the skills, experience, and knowledge you received as an undergraduate worth the financial investment to attend this institution?" 83% of Gettysburg alumni responded "Definitely Yes" or "Probably Yes" (REACH Institution: 81%).

Alumni financially support the College for multiple reasons. For men, the most common reason for giving to the College is “It was asked by the College to give”; for women, “I was able to attend Gettysburg because of a scholarship and I want to give back to the College.” Read More

How Many of our Alumni Earned Research Doctorates?

Since 1966, the National Science Foundation has been providing data collected through the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED), which is an annual census of all new recipients of research doctorates at U. S. doctorate-granting colleges and universities. According to the SED, during 1966-2010, 995 Gettysburg alumni earned research doctorates;  Gettysburg ranks fifty-first among 662 Baccalaureate Colleges.The most popular disciplines were life sciences and education. Read more

Capstone Experience: Did Students Learn as Much as Expected?

Gettysburg is among some liberal arts institutions which require students to complete a Capstone Experience. In Spring 2012, a COLA subcommittee (Jack Ryan, David Powell, Suhua Dong) conducted a study of student achievement of two Curricular Goals in the Capstone Experience: Integrative Thinking & Effective Communication. 26 faculty members teaching a capstone class participated. 297 students were enrolled in these Capstone classes.

Integrative Thinking Goal: (1). Overall, capstone instructors' course objectives are aligned with the intended core outcomes for the Integrative Thinking Goal articulated by COLA (pdf). (2). Some aspects of the Integrative Thinking Goal receive more emphasis than other aspects in capstone classes. Additionally, compared with a similar study in Fall 2010, a growing percentage of instructors expect students to achieve the following learning goals, goals which received less emphasis in the past: outlining a clear point of view in analyzing and interpreting multidisciplinary work, and producing work using interdisciplinary or cross-disciplinary perspectives. The great majority of students achieved all the expected Integrative Thinking learning goals.

Effective Communication Goal: 95%~96% of students demonstrated at least some evidence of achievement of the 4 learning objectives: clearly articulating goals/questions/hypothesis; choosing methods/sources/media critically; presenting cogent arguments in effective written format; producing scholarly or creative work that employ communication conventions of the major.

54% of instructors collaborated with their departmental colleagues on designing their capstone course; 35%, on the assessment of student capstone work.

62% of instructors used a formal rubric to evaluate their students' capstone project. 23% (N=6) reported that their department has developed a common rubric to evaluate student capstone achievement.

Did you know......

♦Within one year after graduation, 1 in 4 Gettysburg graduates with full-time employment earns a salary in the range of $45,000 and above; the rest, below this range.

♦You can find out more about the characteristics and experiences of Gettysburg students and faculty from findings from surveys, and other assessment resources.

Call for Submissions

Did you develop an innovative course-embedded assessment tool, such as a neat rubric? What were your discoveries in the process of using it? Share your story with your colleagues through the Assessment Newsletter. Email the Office of Institutional Analysis staff (Suhua Dong,Director of Institutional Analysis and Qin Zhang,Assistant Director of Institutional Analysis) for submissions or suggestions.

This newsletter is compiled by the Office of Institutional Analysis.


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Gettysburg, Pennsylvania