1 WKU Master of Public Administration Program Alumni Survey Results 2015 This survey was sent out by mail to 43 recent MPA graduates on April 6, The survey was sent to those who had graduated within the past two years since the last survey was sent out. Four surveys were returned as non-deliverable. The surveys were returned over a period of several weeks. The last survey was returned on May 15, surveys were returned, and 11 were usable (28% response rate), although not all questions were answered on all survey forms. Further, 11 alumni directory sheets were returned. Alumni directory sheets and identifying information were removed before the data was entered and analyzed. Data was entered during the month of May and double-checked for accuracy. Several open-ended questions were included on the survey. This survey was designed with several purposes in mind. The primary purposes were as follows: 1. To gather input on the revised Mission Statement of the MPA program; 2. To gather input on the learning outcomes for students based on the graduates professional experience; 3. To understand what sector our graduates are employed in and if they are gainfully employed; 4. To understand if our graduates are satisfied with the MPA program as it was delivered to them, and to gather ideas for improvement to the program, courses, internship, networking and mentoring opportunities, etc. for our current and future students. The survey results were disseminated to faculty, MPA advisory committee, students, and alumni. Results were posted on the WKU MPA Program website, and selected results were included in the Summer 2015 newsletter which was distributed to current students and alumni. All written responses to open-ended questions are available in a separate document. The MPA and Employment History What was your primary student status while completing the MPA degree? _5 full-time 6 part-time What was your primary objective when you entered the MPA program? 6 job advancement 1 career change _4 personal goal 1 other (note one person selected two responses on this question so total n=12) Please explain.
2 What type of position did you hold immediately prior to entering the MPA program? If employed while a student, which of the following best describes your employment sector? Federal 2 (18%) State or regional 5 (45%) City, County or other Local 2 (18%) Nonprofit 1 (.09%) Private sector 1 (.09%) Please list your current job title and how long you have been in this position. Title Length of time in this position 5 yrs avg (min. 7 mo. & max. 18 yrs) Which of the following best describes your current employment sector? Federal _2 (18%) State or regional _5 (45%) City, County or other Local _2 (18%) Nonprofit _1 (9%) Private sector _1 (9%) What is your current annual salary? Less than $20,000 $60,000 to 69,999 $20,000 to 29,999 $70,000 to 79,999 1 $30,000 to 39,999 3 $80,000 to 89,999 $40,000 to 49,999 4 $90,000 to 99,999 $50,000 to 59,999 2 Over $100,000 1 Overall, how important was your MPA degree in obtaining your current position? 2 Very important Important 7 Not too important 2 Not important at all Comments? _ If you are not employed, which best describes your current situation? In transition and looking for a position 1 Obtaining further education Unemployed and not currently job hunting Comments? _
3 Overall, how satisfied are you with the education you received in the MPA program? 8 Very satisfied (73%) 3 Satisfied (27%) Dissatisfied Very dissatisfied Comments? _ Overall, would you recommend the WKU MPA program to a colleague or friend? Yes 11 No Comments? _ At the time you attended the WKU MPA program, what were the Program s strengths? At the time you attended the WKU MPA program, what were the Program s weaknesses? Demographic Information In what subject area was your undergraduate degree? When did you start your MPA degree (month and year)? _Earliest August 2009 When did you finish your MPA degree (month and year)? _Most recent December 2014_ At which campus did you primarily attend classes? Bowling Green 3 (27%) Owensboro 4 (36%) Ft. Knox/Elizabethtown 3 (27%) Glasgow 1 (9%) What is your gender? Male 6 (55%) Female 5 (45%) What category best describes your ethnic background? Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Native American or Alaskan Native Asian African-American Hispanic Caucasian/White 11 Two or more races Other
4 During the time you were an MPA student, were you considered to be an international student? Yes If yes, country of origin? _ No _11 Are you currently active military? Are you currently a military veteran? Yes _2 Yes 1 No _9 No 10 Please indicate your current age category: Over age 60 Current home zip code: _Only 1 outside of KY The WKU MPA Program is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration NASPAA is the Global Standard in Public Service Education The MPA program mission statement currently reads as follows: The MPA program prepares graduate students from diverse backgrounds to be productive leaders and managers in public service by sharing knowledge, encouraging excellence in research and practice, and fostering an environment of professionalism within the communities we serve. Do you think the above MPA program mission statement adequately describes the mission of the MPA program as you experienced it? Yes _10 No 1 did not respond
5 What changes would you make to this mission statement? Please explain. As part of the mission statement review and revision process the following questions and concerns came up with regard to learning outcomes for MPA students. Please answer the following questions based on your professional experience. To what extent in your current position do you prepare, administer and/or monitor budgets? 4 Very Often Often 2 Occasionally 3 Never To what extent in your current position do you conduct financial analyses? 3 Very Often Often 3 Occasionally 3 Never To what extent in your current position do you conduct surveys? 1 Very Often 3 Often 3 Occasionally 2 Never To what extent in your current position do you interpret and apply statistical concepts? 1 Very Often 2 Often 4 Occasionally 2 Never To what extent in your current position do you conduct data analyses that require the use of statistical software packages, such as SPSS? 1 Very Often Often 2 Occasionally 6 Never To what extent in your current position do you access, apply and evaluate large data sets, such as U.S. Census data? Very Often 1 Often 3 Occasionally 5 Never To what extent in your current position do you prepare grant applications? Very Often 1 Often 2 Occasionally 6 Never To what extent in your current position do you administer grants? Very Often Often 3 Occasionally 6 Never To what extent in your current position are you required to communicate in a technical, clear and concise manner? 7 Very Often 2 Often Occasionally Never To what extent in your current position are you required to communicate with the media? 2 Very Often 1 Often 4 Occasionally 2 Never Reflecting on each of these questions above as they apply to your specific job, are there particular areas in which you wish the MPA program had better prepared you? Please describe what training might have helped you be better prepared.
6 To what extent do you believe that the MPA program prepared you to the following based on your professional experience? Lead and manage in public governance 6 Very Prepared 4 Prepared Unprepared Participate in and contribute to the policy process 6 Very Prepared 4 Prepared Unprepared Analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems, make decisions 7 Very Prepared 3 Prepared Unprepared Articulate and apply a public service perspective 7 Very Prepared 3 Prepared Unprepared Communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry 7 Very Prepared 3 Prepared Unprepared If you could name one area of focus that was not offered as a part of the MPA program that would assist in preparing students for future employment in the public sector, what would it be? In what specific ways do you think the MPA program could and/or should better utilize its alumni? Please feel free to make any additional comments or suggestions about the MPA program here. We want and value your input!
7 Alumni Directory and Helping the MPA Program Please provide complete contact info here. Name _ Address Best _ Best phone number Current job title: Current employer: Year you graduated from MPA program: May we include this info in a MPA alumni directory? Yes 10 No Would you be interested in participating in networking opportunities with former and current MPA students? Yes 8 No 1 Would you be interested in providing an internship for a MPA student? Yes 3 No 6 Would you be interested in serving as a mentor for a MPA student? Yes 4 No 5 Would you be interested in serving on the MPA Advisory Committee? Yes 6 No 3 If you do not want to return this page with the survey, you may return this page to the following address: Dr. Victoria Gordon MPA Director Department of Political Science Western Kentucky University #305 Grise Hall 1906 College Heights Blvd #11060 Bowling Green, KY
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