Recently Montserrat College of Art made an active decision to get to know their alumni base better and learn more about the careers they had pursued after graduation. To gather this information, Beth Price Morgan, a member of the career services team, distributed lists per major for full-time faculty to go through and check in with 5 alumni each.
Using Alumni Data to Inform Curriculum Design
What they discovered was surprising: many alumni who had added a Graphic Design major to their resumes on LinkedIn actually majored in fine arts majors like Painting or Photography. Montserrat's faculty and staff teams realized that they could use this information as they created a proposal for redesigning their curriculum, filling in gaps and making sure their programs reflected the reality of their graduates’ careers.
One of the key challenges facing higher education institutions is keeping their programs up-to-date and relevant to the rapidly changing job market. By using alumni data to inform curriculum design, institutions can ensure that their programs are responsive to the needs of their students and prepare them for the careers they aspire to.
Redesigning the Curriculum: Filling in Gaps and Reflecting Reality
At Montserrat College of Art, the career services team worked closely with faculty to analyze the alumni data and identify trends. They discovered that some alumni had majored in one area of study but had gone on to work in a different field. Armed with this data, a team of faculty and staff were able to make more informed decisions about course content in their new curriculum proposals, filling in gaps where necessary and ensuring that the programs reflected the reality of their graduates’ careers.
An Ongoing Process: Continuous Data Collection and Analysis
Redesigning a curriculum isn’t always a one-time project. It can be an ongoing process that involves continuous data collection, analysis, and feedback from alumni, faculty, and students. This iterative approach helps ensure that programs remain up-to-date and responsive to the changing needs of the job market.
Using Alumni Data to Respond to the Needs of Students and the Job Market
By using alumni data as a crucial research step during their curriculum redesign process, Montserrat College of Art will be able to better prepare their students for the jobs they aspire to. The process of analyzing alumni data and redesigning curriculum can be replicated in other higher education institutions, providing students with programs that reflect the reality of their careers and the job market.
Montserrat College of Art's use of alumni data to redesign their curriculum is an inspiring example of how institutions can respond to the needs of their students and the job market. By working closely with alumni, faculty, and students, institutions can ensure that their programs are relevant and up-to-date, providing students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their careers.
A big thank you to Beth for sharing this story with us so we can spread the word and help other schools too!
Interested in capturing alumni data and using it to inform your curriculum?