Using Alumni Views to Connect the Past, Present, and Future in Political Science


Eric D. Raile, Elizabeth A. Shanahan, Michael P. Wallner, Linda M. Young, Avonius Marja, Micaela Young, Nacer Tayeb


PS: Political Science & Politics


This article describes the collection of views from political science alumni via a web-based survey as a central part of efforts to review and improve the curriculum and the broader political science program at a public university. Based on the literature and on interviews with faculty members and former students, we iteratively constructed a questionnaire containing five categories of items: program structure, content/knowledge, skills, outcomes, and learning environment. These categories were intended to capture curricular elements and outcomes that include but extend beyond employment and professional-skill attainment. Graduate students contributed in meaningful ways to the effort through a research-methods course. The article discusses how results of the survey fed into the curriculum-revision process specifically and program review and assessment considerations more generally.



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