Submitted Fall, 2003
(Objectives 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9)
To provide insights into the levels of preparedness graduates experience when becoming administrators and the strengths and weaknesses of the EDAD program in contributing to their readiness, parallel surveys were sent to employers and alumni. Every three years parallel surveys are sent to a random sampling of UNK EDAD Program graduates who are currently practicing school administrators in Nebraska and to their Board Presidents. Results of the survey were compiled and examined to determine if there were implications for changes in EDAD programs. Information was shared with both inter-and external audience, and for making recommendations and, if needed, program changes.
On March 28, 2002, the EDAD Department triennial, graduate survey was initiated by e-mailing questionnaires to program graduates who assumed their first principalship within the past fours years. Completed questionnaires were received from 37 of 61 (60.7%) principals. The sampling procedure was different from the October 1998 survey, when a random sample of all program graduates was practicing principals and superintendents. The respondents for the current survey have less average experience in school administration compared to those who participated in the previous survey. Results were analyzed with department members and Advisory Council members.
Principals in the survey recorded a mean average of 4.08 (1=very poor to 5=very good) on the self-evaluation of 12 items in contrast to a 4.16 mean average for respondents in the 1998 survey. The data appear to confirm that experienced school administrators are more confident in rating their skills and abilities higher than less experienced administrators.
Responses on the survey indicated that the graduates preferred more time on the following: school improvement and aligning state standards with curriculum and assessment; teacher evaluation; budget and finance; and the NDE Rule 10 and attended paperwork. The challenge for the EDAD faculty will be to balance instructional strategies to respond to practitioners' requests for more vocational knowledge, while presenting theoretical knowledge that should inhere in a university, graduate program.
Options being discussed are the inclusion of activities that focus on school improvement and standards in a currently offered course, and devoting more time to teacher evaluation, budget and finance and NDE Rule 10 where those issues are already addressed.