ERIC Number: ED205107
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-May
Reference Count: 0
The Perceived Outcomes of Higher Education. AIR Forum 1981 Paper.
Valiga, Michael J.
Alumni impressions of the degree to which their college educations contributed to their personal growth in a number of outcome areas were assessed, in 1980-81 based on data collected at 36 colleges and universities. A total of 7,330 alumni records were examined, and the respondents ranged in age from 20 through over 65 years old, with a median age of 26.2 years. Respondents from public colleges accounted for 71.8 percent of the sample, while those from private colleges represented 28.2 percent. The large majority were enrolled primarily as full-time, in-state students. Using the American College Testing Program Alumni Survey, which is appended, it was found that alumni felt that their college educations contributed to their personal growth most strongly in areas such as learning on your own, working independently, and organizing your time effectively. These areas appear to be related to general learning skills, rather than areas related to specific academic subjects on skills. It is suggested that this finding tends to support the contention that college offers more than simple training in specific subject areas. The results also appear to indicate that students with different academic majors feel very differently about the outcomes of their programs. These differences are most pronounced in the scientific and mathematics-related outcome areas. The response differences between public college and private college alumni were less distinct than the differences among major areas. However, while private college respondents tended to rate their college experiences higher overall, public college alumni were more positive in their responses to the mathematics and science-related outcome areas. A bibliography is appended. (SW)
Descriptors: Alumni, College Graduates, Comparative Analysis, Educational Benefits, Graduate Surveys, Higher Education, Individual Development, Majors (Students), Maturity (Individuals), Outcomes of Education, Participant Satisfaction, Private Colleges, School Surveys, State Colleges, Student Development
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: AIR Forum
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Forum of the Association for Institutional Research (21st, Minneapolis, MN, May 17-10, 1981).