Desiging the Pathways of Engineering Alumni Research Survey (PEARS)

Helen L. Chen, Michelle Marie Grau, Samantha Brunhaver, Shannon Katherine Gilmartin, Sheri Sheppard, Michelle Warner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

13 Scopus citations


Surveys of engineering alumni are a common approach taken by departments to collect evidence demonstrating how educational objectives are being met for the purpose of continuous improvement of the program (ABET Criterion 4). While survey administration tools have become widely available and easy to navigate, researchers must still address the challenges of designing not only a concise survey instrument but also an effective deployment plan that results in a high response rate among targeted respondents. To explore these issues in a real world context, this paper draws upon first hand experiences related to the planning of the Pathways of Engineering Alumni Research Survey (PEARS) which was piloted with geographically distributed engineering alumni from four institutions in fall 2011. Creating the PEARS deployment plan paralleled the design of the instrument itself. This paper speaks to the unique logistical considerations of deploying an alumni survey with respect to subject recruitment, incentives, alumni association partnerships, and scalability. The preliminary findings outlined here are intended to inform the redesign of the deployment plan for future administrations of PEARS as well as to serve as a practical resource for other researchers wishing to survey engineering alumni.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
PublisherAmerican Society for Engineering Education
ISBN (Print)9780878232413
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - San Antonio, TX, United States
Duration: Jun 10 2012Jun 13 2012


Other119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Antonio, TX

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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