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Alumni Perspectives On Lifelong Learning

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Special Topics

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Page Numbers

7.158.1 - 7.158.8



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Paper Authors

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Ed McCaul

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Alfred Soboyejo

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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

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Session 3630

Alumni Perspectives on Lifelong Learning

Robert J. Gustafson, Edward McCaul, Alfred Soboyejo The Ohio State University


Based on a survey completed by 280 alumni during academic year 2000-2001, the following observations can be made:

The top four indicators that a person is staying current professionally and technically were: 1. Reading trade or professional journals 2. Attending technical/training seminars or short courses 3. Attending professional conferences 4. Earning an advanced degree.

The four most frequent responses to how alumni could have been better prepared by their undergraduate experience were: 1. Changes in content of engineering courses; e.g. more industry interaction, real-world context, and current technology and software 2. More involvement in professional organizations 3. Increased use of trade and professional publications in the curriculum 4. Increased focus on professional skill; e.g. communication, ethics, conflict resolution, teamwork and time management.

By far the most significant response to barriers to staying current was “time”. Breaking down the response further, it is apparent that significant elements dealt with balance of personal and professional time commitments and employer allocation of time and resources towards professional development. It seemed to be a commonly accepted expectation of alumni and alumni of their employers that professional development is to be accomplished outside of normal work hours, from personal time. Lack of motivation or willingness to learn and change was observed to also be a significant barrier.


Based on results of the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 The Ohio State University’s College of Engineering Alumni Surveys and feedback from other sources, the Core Curriculum and College Services Committee established a Task Group to study the nature of the difference between perceived importance versus preparation of College of Engineering B.S. graduates in the area of

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society of Engineering Education Annual conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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McCaul, E., & Soboyejo, A., & Gustafson, R. J. (2002, June), Alumni Perspectives On Lifelong Learning Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10379

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