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CCHE Quality Indicator System (QIS)
CU-Boulder Fall 1998 Submission

State indicator 5: Employer Satisfaction Practices at CU-Boulder

CU-Boulder prepares students not just for an immediate job, but for life-long learning and citizenship. While we do not systematically contact employers of graduates in all programs, we do use feedback from employers to modify our curricula, teaching, and advising.

CU-Boulder listens to employers through 
-- a University-wide survey of Colorado business leaders 
-- external reviews of student performance 
-- advisory boards to schools, colleges, and departments,

Employer feedback collected through these means often serves as the basis for developing new programs and initiatives and for modifying curricula, teaching, and advising. 

University wide: In 1996, the University surveyed business community leaders. In response to the question "How well are CU graduates currently performing in the following areas," 57% rated graduates' written/oral communications skills excellent or good, and 54% rated problem solving skills excellent or good. CU-Boulder seeks improvement in these figures in the future; implementation of and constant improvement to the core curriculum is one initiative addressed to this end. 

At CU-Boulder: Several departments, schools, and colleges routinely solicit feedback from external reviewers as to the preparedness of graduating students for their chosen profession. These include English, fine arts, music, education, and journalism. For example, supervisors of journalism interns are routinely asked to complete a questionnaire about students' performance. The feedback is used for continuous improvement of the curriculum. 

In summer 1998, career services is surveying recruiters about satisfaction with services they receive from CU-Boulder, and about preparation of CU-Boulder graduates. This information will be reported back to departments. 

Individual schools and colleges stay in touch with employers through advisory boards. For example, engineering has both a college-wide board and industry boards for each department. The boards provide feedback on curriculum and programs, and participate in curriculum redesign. These boards have played major roles in such recent initiatives as development of the Integrated Teaching Learning Laboratory (ITLL) and curriculum revisions in aerospace and chemical engineering. 

Within arts and sciences, many departments have their own advisory boards. For example, the geological sciences board is comprised of representatives from three major employers of geology graduates: the petroleum industry, environmental firms, and the federal government. Recent recommendations encouraging a broader-based education and increased adaptability have led to curriculum changes.

Summary of State indicators

L:\IR\CCHE\QIS98\CC5.TXW -- Last modified July 14, 1998
Written by Lou McClelland and Ken Jacobs 

Last revision 07/12/02

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