Carnegie Mellon University

Eberly Center

Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation

Alumni Survey of Curriculum

Program: School of Drama, College of Fine Arts
Alumni Survey of Curriculum


The School of Drama’s advisory committee voiced some concerns about the curriculum, which led to the decision to review the curriculum and establish a clear set of school goals. To inform this process, the school wanted to gather evidence from multiple sources, including alumni, to ensure their decisions would be based on sound and robust data. Alumni data about program strengths and weaknesses in relation to school goals, the importance of school goals in preparing for a professional career, and what was missing given their experience in the professional world would complement the data collected from current faculty and students.


A survey was developed for all school alumni who had graduated in the last 25 years. The survey was distributed online to alumni who had current email addresses and mailed, with stamped return envelopes, to remaining alumni.


Survey responses were collected over a three-month period, and the response rate was over 80%. All data, from alumni as well as current faculty and students, was collected and analyzed by April 2003. The alumni data aligned extremely well with the data collected from current faculty and students, which made it easy to identify and address weaknesses and help ensure that the school continued to build on its strengths. The curriculum review and revision has been completed.


The data collected was valuable in itself. However, an added bonus was the sense of involvement and importance it gave the alumni. Several spontaneously reported how pleased they were to be included in the process and to reconnect with the school again.

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