By the Numbers: Senior Exit Survey 21-22

Sunday, August 7, 2022 - 7:45am

With the conclusion of the summer 8-week session, Senior Exit Survey for academic year 21-22 is complete and the results are available. The Senior Exit Survey is one of five assessment measures conducted by the college (two direct and three indirect). The measures include:

  • Capstone Project Reviews (direct)
  • Berens Pre & Post Test (direct)
  • Internship Survey (direct)
  • Senior Exit Survey (indirect)
  • Alumni Survey (indirect)

Below are the combined results from the AY 21-22 survey, including the results from the fall 2021, spring 2022 and summer 2022. Students can choose between strongly agree, agree (combined into agree), disagree and strongly disagree (combined into disagree) for 16 statements that measure 12 learning outcomes.

Learning Outcome Senior Exit Survey Alumni Survey
1 Understand and apply First Amendment principles to my work. 1 1
2 Demonstrate an understanding of the history and the role of the professions in shaping communications. 2 2
3 Demonstrate a respect for colleagues of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. 3 3
4 Demonstrate a respect for colleagues from different countries. 7 4
5 Present data, text and images in a professional manner. 8 5
6 Demonstrate professional and ethical principles through my work, including truth, accuracy, fairness and diversity. 9 6
7 Solve problems creatively, independently and resourcefully. 10 7
8 Conduct research and am able to evaluate information. 11 8
9 Write correctly and clearly in styles appropriate to the communications professions. 12 9
10 Critically evaluate the quality of my own work and the work of others for fairness, clarity, appropriate style and grammatical correctness. 13 10
11 Understand and can apply basic numerical and statistical concepts. 15 11
12 Apply tools and technology appropriate to the communications profession in which I plan to work. 16 12

The top areas of concerns are highlighted in red. Four of the five areas of concern from the 21-22 survey are consistent with the 20-21 Senior Exit Survey, including outcomes 1, 2, 9 and 12 (which correspond to statements 1, 2, 12 and 16). In 20-21, statement outcome 8 (statement 11) was an area of concern. In 21-22, outcome 8 dropped out of the top five and was replaced by outcome 12 (statement 16).

The chart below shows where we improved between 20-21 and 21-22 and where we gained and lost the most ground.


Of the 16 learning outcomes measured by the senior exit survey, the college showed improvement on 5 between AY 20-21 and AY 21-22.

Note that statement 2, I can demonstrate an understanding of the history and the role of the professions in shaping communications, had the fewest proportion of students who agreed with the statement and had the largest decline between last year and this year.

Closing the Loop

Reviewing the data alone is not sufficient to meet our accreditation requirements, we must take action to address the concerns illuminated by all our assessment measures, known as closing the loop.

Since 2017-2018, the college has taken steps to address several of our learning outcomes. Those steps include:

Addressing outcome 9  
In 2017-2018, the college conducted a comprehensive review of writing courses. The report's recommendations went into effect in 2019-2020 and we should begin to see increases in responses on this measure in the 2022-2023 senior exit survey.  
Addressing outcomes 5 and 12  
In 2019-2020, the college conducted a review of the communication design program. Implementation of these recommendations is ongoing.  
Addressing outcomes 3 and 4  
In 2020-2021, the college reviewed issues of diversity and inclusion within the curriculum and established a requirement that all majors complete JOMC 22: Social Justice, Human Rights and the Media as a graduation requirement. We should begin to see increases in responses on outcome 3 in the 2025-2026 senior exit survey.  

Earlier this year, the strategic planning committee made two recommendations after reviewing the 20-21 senior exit and alumni survey results. Those recommendations are:

Recommendation for outcomes 1 and 2: The curriculum committee should review the foundational course, JOMC 101: Principles of Mass Media and Communications, and, based upon that review, propose changes to the course to strengthen these learning outcomes.  
Recommendation for outcomes 8 and 11: The curriculum committee should establish a standalone required course within each of our majors that is specific to the research and data analysis skills needed in each discipline. 

Our past efforts to close the loop, along with the current recommendation address the areas of concern shown in the 21-22 senior exit survey. Given the quick decline shown in the change in outcome 2 between last year and this year, the curriculum committees should act swiftly to address the content of JOMC 101 to improve education on the history and role of the profession in shaping communications.

Additional Insights

The senior exit survey doesn’t only provide us with information about our student learning outcomes, it also provides other insights into the success of our programs. Five general statements measure how satisfied or unsatisfied students are with the college’s programs. Students can select from very unsatisfied, unsatisfied (combined into unsatisfied), satisfied and very satisfied (combined into satisfied).

1 The advice, counsel, and guidance you received from the faculty in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications.
2 The advice, counsel, and guidance you received from the academic advisors in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications.
3 The education you received in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications.
4 The availability of the equipment in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications outside of class time.
5 The College of Journalism and Mass Communications has prepared you for success in your chosen profession.

The college lost ground on all five of these measures between 20-21 and 21-22. One possible explanation for this trend is the reentry experience for students following the COVID-19 global pandemic. This trend is worthy of further consideration.