Graduation Date

Fall 2018

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in Sociology

Committee Chair Name

Jennifer Eichstedt

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Anthony Silvaggio

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories



Student and alumni surveys have become some of the most widely-used methods of assessment of student learning in higher education. While the majority of literature on student surveys and assessment focuses on undergraduate students, this study looks specifically at why graduate student exit and alumni surveys can be valuable tools within a comprehensive assessment plan. Listening to the feedback of current and former graduate students, and then acting upon that feedback, is crucial for the engagement and success of this unique population of students who bring their particular strengths and needs to their educational experiences. This study examined how master’s programs at Humboldt State University (HSU) use graduate student exit and alumni surveys. As part of this project, I piloted a graduate student exit and alumni survey for the Public Sociology program. In my study of the use of surveys, I found that most HSU programs were not conducting surveys due to lack of time and resources. Graduate Coordinators wanted to conduct graduate student surveys and do more to create graduate community, but they expressed the need for more university-level support to do so, including increased advocacy towards graduate programs. While most Coordinators were in favor of surveys being conducted centrally at the university-level, they emphasized the importance of having a voice in the process and having program-specific questions on any survey. A collaborative process with a holistic and long-term vision is crucial to successful implementation of graduate student surveys at HSU and for student feedback to make a difference.

Citation Style

American Sociological Association