An evaluation of an engineering leadership development program based on alumni job placement & career progression

Dena Lang, Travis Gehr, Meg Handley, John Jongho Park, Andrew Michael Erdman

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

Abstract

This is a 'work-in-progress' paper and is appropriate for the 'Inform' topic area. Leadership development programs have become an integral part of the engineering curriculum in order to meet the professional development needs of our graduates as well as the needs of their employers. This paper reports preliminary results from a survey of alumni from an undergraduate engineering leadership development program. The survey was developed to assess the degree to which the program is meeting its goals, which include ensuring that the program targets the skills needed in today's workplace, as well as enhance students' ability to land their first job and advance in their career. Graduates of the program (n=136) were surveyed to better understand the impact of the program on their initial career placement, subsequent career advancement, and the development of skills needed for today's engineering work. Alumni were asked to rate their agreement (on a Likert-scale: Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Neutral, Agree, Strongly Agree) with the following statements: 1) The ELD program was instrumental in helping me get my first job. 2) The ELD program was instrumental in helping me get one or more promotions. and 3) The ELD program helped me develop skills needed for today's engineering work. These survey questions were intended to assess whether the alumni regarded their participation in the leadership development program as important in their initial hire and subsequent career progression. In addition, the third survey item was used to assess whether alumni believed that the program's developmental objectives were meeting the needs of our graduates in the workplace. Results from the alumni survey indicated that respondents felt that the ELD program was instrumental in helping ELD minor graduates in getting their first job (64% responded strongly agree or agree) and in getting one or more promotions (57% responded strongly agree or agree). In addition, the survey results indicate that respondents believed that the program helped to develop the skills needed for today's engineering work (86% responded strongly agree or agree). Future work will explore whether participation in the leadership development program results in differences in salary level upon graduation compared to similar graduates not in the leadership program. In addition, follow up work will aim at better understanding where improvements can be made within the leadership development curriculum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number162
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
Volume2020-June
StatePublished - Jun 22 2020
Event2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, ASEE 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jun 22 2020Jun 26 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

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