June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.49.1 - 15.49.10
A Long-term Look at the Success of Rochester Institute of Technology Engineering Technology Graduates
The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) has collected a significant amount of historical data on the alumni of its seven engineering technology (ET) programs through surveys conducted in 1997, 2002 and again in 2009. This paper provides an analysis of the most recent 2009 data, comparisons to RIT historical data and an alignment with survey data from several other universities in the past five years. It also provides a discussion on the usefulness of alumni surveys in assessing program educational outcomes. The RIT alumni salary data obtained from all three surveys corresponds closely to salary data for engineers with job experience published by the Engineering Workforce Commission and has been a strong recruiting tool for freshman and transfer ET students. The three RIT alumni surveys document the achievements of the RIT ET graduates for the past thirty seven years and provide an assessment tool for the next RIT ABET Technology Accreditation Commission accreditation visit.
Engineering technology and engineering programs across the United States have been using alumni surveys for years as a way of measuring success. In the past, the results of these types of surveys were historically used for benchmarking as a means of demonstrating successful career growth for graduates and identifying potential improvements for the programs. “Benchmarks for graduate salaries, job titles, graduate education, and professional certifications have been established in ET alumni surveys during the last decade at RIT, the University of Dayton, Old Dominion, Northeastern University, and the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (UPJ).” 1 Work completed by Mott,2 Stanley and Verma 3 in the early 1990’s provided an effective means of gathering relevant information from an alumni pool and data by which other schools, like RIT, could benchmark to demonstrate success of those alumni.
In 2004, the Technology Accreditation Commission (TAC) of ABET required the use of outcomes assessment as the basis for accreditation assessment for engineering technology programs. The current TAC ABET Criteria for accrediting engineering technology programs require the following:
Criterion 2. Program Educational Objectives Each program must have in place: a. published program educational objectives that are consistent with the mission of the institution and applicable ABET criteria, b. a documented process by which the program educational objectives are determined and periodically evaluated based on the needs of constituencies served by the program, and c. an educational program, including a curriculum, that enables graduates to achieve the program educational objectives.4
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