Alumni tracer Essay
Background and Rationale
The College of Computer Studies (CCS) at Central Philippine University (CPU) started in 1995 when the course Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (BSCS) was offered as a degree program under the College of Commerce. The program aims to fill the growing need for computer literate professionals in the field of business. On June 2001, in line with the recommendation of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to pool all related courses into one college, the CPU administration decided to transfer the department under the College of Engineering (COE). The department was merged with the Department of Software Engineering.
On June 2002, the College of Commerce offered a new program, Bachelor of Information Science and Management (BISM). The offering of this course was made to integrate Information Technology to all business and management courses. In 2003, the University President, Dr. Juanito M. Acanto recommended to the Board of Trustees for the creation of the College of Computer Studies which will be composed of three departments:
Computer Science, Information Sciences and Management and
Information Technology. This continuing growth in the life of the College is brought about by the increasing need of competent information technology professionals. In a nutshell, the performance of an educational institution’s performance is partly measured by the employability of its graduates. At present, the college needs to determine the factors that affect graduates’ employability and analyze the benefits of it in
the preparation of soon to be graduates and enable them to meet the challenges of professional life.
The general objective of this tracer study is to gather relevant information as to the employability of the graduates in the CPU College of Computer Studies graduate from School Year 2001 to 2005.
Specifically, this tracer study aims to:
1. describe the graduates in terms of age, civil status sex, age and residence, major field, year graduated and academic performance;
2. determine the graduates’ professional skills, professional examinations passed, and reasons for taking the course;
3. determine the trainings and advance studies attended by the graduates after finishing college;
4. determine the industry classification of the companies where they are employed, job position, monthly salary range, job requirements and the “waiting time” before they landed on a job.
5. determine the perceived factors that help them landed a job.
Scope and Limitation
This study aims will cover all College of Computer Studies graduates whether working abroad or in locally-based companies who graduated from SY 2001 to 2005 only to allow the graduates enough time to find employment.
It aims to cover all graduates in local residence and those who are residing abroad.
Significance of the Study
An institution like CPU professes “Exemplary Christian Education for Life” as its Mission Statement which aims to offer quality education programs to its constituents. It is therefore relevant for the college to determine whether it has helped the graduates become productive members of the society. In any instance, the College has investigated the factors that significantly affect graduates’ employability given today’s conditions. This investigation is crucial to the growth of an institution because if there is no conduct of an evaluation of outcomes of the educational process there will be no benchmark unto which the basis of future developments can be based upon. School’s alumni are the best proof of its capability to effectively educate.
This need for a tracer study for the College of Computer Studies is seen to be a long overdue endeavor that needs to be ventured upon. Since its conception it had produced 240 graduates to date.
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
Recognizing the importance of evaluating the status of an educational institution’s alumni is crucial to its growth if not to its existence. This need is recognized by government agencies that govern the quality of instruction in Higher Education Institutions (HEI’s) like Central Philippine University. The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is conducting a comprehensive study that requires all HEI’s to do individual graduate tracer studies on their respective alumni. The result of the research will become a tool in pursuant to the envisioned upgrading of the educational system in the country.
A move to outcome-based evaluation from an evaluation system based more on inputs represents a shift from the quantitative to the qualitative.
The process is more
searching, because the account must be reflective, and provide a justification of why things are done in a way that it has been chosen. Effectiveness of process has to be demonstrated, in relation to intended outcomes. Factual data is still required, but to support a case that a department is performing effectively, rather than as an end in itself. The approach is less prescriptive, for example a department must decide whether a particular set of data is relevant to a demonstration of effectiveness, rather than providing it simply because it has been required (CHED IQUAME Primer, 2006)
Another government agency that pursued graduate tracer studies is the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). TESDA has embarked to undertake various studies and researches on Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programs and related TVET developments with the end view of coming up with evidence-
based policy recommendations to be used by the management.
One of which is the
Expanded Tracer Study of SY 2000-2001 Post-Secondary Graduates conducted at the latter part of 2002.
This study was undertaken to ascertain the effectiveness of TVET programs of all TVET institutions as manifested by the employability of its graduates. The result of this studies served as benchmark in determining performance in the provision of middle-level skills development services of the different TVET players of the regions. It is envisioned to provide signals on the kind of jobs TVET graduates go into; their income levels; the length of job search before landing their first job; and the certification, among others. Sub-module of the study was the evaluation of the PESFA graduates during the same period. This undertaking was done as part of the regular Monitoring and Evaluation of Training Performance (METP) System spearheaded by the Planning Office of TESDA. The previous conduct of the graduate tracer study was undertaken in 2000 (TESDA), 2000). A study by S.N Zembere and M.P.M. Chinyama of the University of Malawi, discusses the results of the tracer study of the graduates of the University of Malawi who graduated between 1987 and 1995. The main objective of the tracer study was to examine the changes in the career pattern of the graduates in order to provide a basis of evaluation of the current programs of the University of Malawi. The significance of the study is to provide a continuation of the process of evaluation of the performance of the college as well as the graduates of the college.
Another study, Tracer Study of Science and Technology graduates of 2000 and 2001 conducted by Management Information System Unit of Science and Technology Policy Research Division of the National Science Foundation Of Sri Lanka, the results of the study
shows the trend of the employment status of the graduate by gender, employed and unemployed rates, sector employment, achievements, waiting time for the graduates for their first paid employment, waiting time for the graduates employment according to gender, view of the graduates for the effectiveness of the degree course, view of the graduates on the relevance of degree course to current employment, reasons for being engaged in fields not related to degree course, self employed graduates, obstacles faced by graduates when finding employment. The results of the study will also provide evaluation on how more will the college will provide updates on the degree course, so as to provide the basic requirements of the industry for employment.
With the increase in the number of College graduates in the population, increasing also the rate of unemployment in the country, employment opportunities for graduates have become very competitive, Routine Alumni Tracer Study conducted by Maldives College of Higher education hopes to assess the employment status of their graduates, assess the impact of graduates training on job appointment and assess how graduates perceive their college in relation to their academic and professional developments. Same objectives also this aims to achieve for their graduates.
Career Outcomes of Graduates 2004, a study by Manwel Debono, Albert Debono and Noel Caruana focuses on the employability of the graduates. The study presented in this document provides a useful and essential tool when it comes to policy design and development in both the spheres of education and employment; two sectors that are welded and complementary. A close analysis of the findings leads one to conclude that the role of career guidance is a crucial and vital aspect of any person’s career path. Career guidance creates the possibility for a person to identify capacities, competences and interests that will
lead to making appropriate educational, training and occupational decisions. Same concern of this study is to determine the trainings and advance studies attended by the graduates after finishing college. The college might as well provide career guidance that can provide significant support to individuals during their transition between levels of sector of education and trainings.
On higher education institutions, a website posted by Far Eastern University becomes a tool in tracing the whereabouts of their alumni. On the same note, the college of Computer Studies, gears itself through the help of the University Research Center (URC) in the conduct of this study.
The study will utilize a descriptive-relational research design with the aid of a “one shot survey”.
The tracing process of the most recent graduates
The target group for the tracer study includes graduates of the year 2001 to 2005 of Central Philippine University. The respondents will comprise all the 240 graduates of the College which is included in the above mentioned range of years. The identification of the graduate was primarily based on a list of graduates provided by the Registrar’s Office on all graduates of that period. Through this list names, addresses, emails and telephone numbers of most of the graduates were available from the date of enrolment.. However, it appeared necessary to follow up on contact addresses of all students in order to update their address details due to the possibility of movements since many students now have graduated and changed their contact addresses. First, all students will be contacted by telephone. This personal contact is expected to get many positive responses as well as encourage the graduates to participate in the study and, moreover, to identify the remaining group of students. Second, personal network (word of mouth) and use of key resource persons from each group were used to enquire current addresses on those students who could not be traced through the previous method. Thirdly, a surveys will be mailed via the post office to graduates once their addresses are correctly identifies. Fourthly, an online registration system will be developed such that
graduates who have internet connectivity can log-on and fill up the survey forms on-line in addition to the available exit questionnaire which is downloadable from the CPU website..
Data will be collected utilizing quantitative approach. Structured questionnaire will be employed. Survey. A structured questionnaire will be formulated based on the study objectives and identified variables and indicators. This variables and indicators will be based on previous studies of similar nature. As part of the proposal, the draft instrument will be submitted for comments and suggestions, the instrument will be revised and submitted for approval. The approved instrument will be pre-tested prior to the actual survey to identify areas for modification and refinement.
Data will be collected by administering the instruments with the respondents who are readily available. For those who are not readily available, the instrument will be send to them by mail with a stamped return envelop or will be send electronically by email.
The Questionnaire Design
The questionnaire comprises three main subjects:
Personal Details such as gender, age and place of residence; Academic Details. This is primarily included in order to collect data about the students’ academic qualifications besides CPU credentials.
Current Major Activity. This subject is to include to obtain the employment status and areas of employment of the CPU graduates.
In order to ensure the maximum number of participants all traced students were followed up with personal telephone calls. All the traced students were notified about three times.
Data Processing and Analysis
The quantitative data will be computer-processed using SPSS PC+ Version 11. A coding manual will be prepared on the completed instrument and trained personnel will encode data in the computer.
Quantitative data generated will be analyzed using appropriate statistical tools. Interpretation will be based on the result of the analysis.
Proposed Schedule of Activities
Upon approval of the proposal, the following activities will be undertaken: MONTH
Finalization of Survey
Conduct of Survey
Data Processing and
Submission of Draft
Revision of Report
Submission of Final
A. Data Gathering
B. Data Processing
E. Report reproduction
P 25, 000.00
An Evaluation Report on the Expanded Tracer Study Of SY 2000-2001 Post-Secondary Graduates, Technical Educational and Skills Development Authority http://www.ilsdole.gov.ph/PAPs/ResCon/rcon_03ens1.htm (7:30PM 11/23/06) Michael Cosser, Graduate Tracer Study
http://www.mche.edu.mv/assets/images/fmc/articles_online/tracer_fazna.pdf (7:43PM 11/23/06) Fazna Mohamed, June 2003, Interim Report on Alumni Tracer Study Programme, Maldives College of Higher Education, Faculty of Management and Computing, Sosun Magu, Henveyru, Male’ (20-05), Republic of Maldives.