Speak Up

 

Photo by Jacob Pritchard.

Starting today, alumni of Eugene Lang College have a chance to help change their alma mater for the better. Lang is looking to hear from its graduates from all years and is asking them to take part in a substantive survey about their experiences there: what worked, what didn’t, and how to make Lang the best possible undergraduate experience it can be. The survey will be open for six weeks, from April 25 through June 6.

“I spend a lot of time looking at data, and I value it highly,” said Lang Dean Stephanie Browner.  “I am a restless seeker of data and assessment information.  This also means I have come to understand the limitations of our current assessment questions and methods and answers.”

So, Browner set out to capture the kind of broad-based feedback that’s surprisingly limited at liberal arts colleges. In 2011, for example, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported that 13.8% of Arts and Humanities programs administered alumni surveys, in comparison to 31.3% of Business  programs and 23.4% of Computer Science ones.  For this reason, the project may also contribute to a growing understanding of how liberal arts students are faring after they graduate—data that seems to be rare in spite of its importance.

The new Lang survey does include a significant focus on employment. It not only asks graduates what they’re currently doing, but also how they found their job and what role their education played in preparing them. The survey tackles other issues too, including improvements to the school and student-teacher relationships, and it even asks about respondents’  most memorable discussions at Lang and their impacts..

“Stories matter,” says Dean Browner. “The number and range of responses also matters.  So, I hope to gather stories beyond random anecdotes by asking questions that allow open-ended answers.”

All Lang alumni are invited to complete the survey by going here: https://www.research.net/s/langnewalumniproject.