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Alumni Perceptions Of The Graduate Needs In Business And Finance

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.149.1 - 6.149.7



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Paper Authors

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Pamela Hussen

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Jose Castro

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Robert J. Gustafson

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2793

Alumni Perceptions of the Graduate Needs in Business and Finance Robert J. Gustafson, Jose M. Castro, Pamela V. Hussen The Ohio State University

1. Introduction

Outcomes assessment implemented during the 1998-1999 academic year1,2, allowed for the identification of areas where a gap may exist between importance and preparation of College of Engineering B.S. graduates as perceived by alumni and graduating seniors. Based on earlier input from constituents, one outcome area included in the Ohio State survey was that of business and finance. Based on surveys from across all programs and including seniors, 2nd, 6th and 15th year alumni, this area showed the fourth largest gap of the twenty-five outcomes areas surveyed. The Outcomes Assessment Committee in its deliberations did not feel it had adequate understanding of the root cause(s) to help programs make definitive changes. As one approach to better understand this difference, a task group from the committee choose to develop a one- page, topic specific survey of alumni to be used during 1999-2000 academic year only. The goal of the survey being to further define what preparation or abilities were of highest priority in this area and how these might be best accomplished. Structure and results from the survey developed are described in this paper.

2. Survey Development

The Task Group reviewed topics covered in current business and finance courses3,4 taken by engineers in some programs, a newly proposed business minor from the College of Business, and consulted with persons teaching in this area in both colleges. Although literature on inclusion of specific topics in engineering programs was found5,6, no recent comprehensive needs assessment for this topic area were found. Using available information, a three-part survey was developed. The first survey part listed nine topics commonly included in courses taught in this area. Alumni were asked for a rating of importance of the topics. The option for adding additional topics and rating their importance was given. The second survey part dealt with preferred ways to introduce the material into the curriculum. Three approaches were described. Participants were asked to rate least to most preferred. An opportunity to suggest an alternative approach was also given. The final part of the survey was an open-ended question asking for brief descriptions of where the person may have benefited from increased knowledge in this area. A draft survey was reviewed by colleagues from the College of Business and a prototype tested with one Departmental Advisory Committee prior to finalization.

The survey was included as an extra one-page with the 1999-2000 alumni surveys. Surveys were mailed to 2,038 alumni of the 2nd (1997), 6th (1993), and 15th (1984) year alumni groups. Three hundred and ninety two (392) useable responses to this survey were returned. One hundred and six made written comments in response to the third question.

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Hussen, P., & Castro, J., & Gustafson, R. J. (2001, June), Alumni Perceptions Of The Graduate Needs In Business And Finance Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--8899

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