RESULTS of
ECU Physics Graduate School Student - Advisor Survey

We obtained the email addresses of the graduate school advisors of all 5 of our physics B.S. graduates 1999-2005 that attended or are attending graduate school.  We emailed the advisors a link to this form.  Four out of the 5 to completed the online form between April 23-May 31, 2007. 
Then in Summer 2008 we emailed surveys to two more advisors.
Here are the summary results for graduates 1999-2008 (Aug.)

* 1. Degree type our graduate is working toward or has completed 
3 were
3 were
0 were

* 2. Has the student completed the degree selected from #1?
16.7% (1)
83.3% (5)
0 %       
0 %       

* Ranking of our graduates on their knowledge from the following courses (that were required or electives at ECU in their major):

Excellent Good Fair Poor Unknown-not able to rank
3. Beginning Physics topics 1 (16.7%)
1 (16.7%)
2 (33.3%)

2 (33.3%)
4. Modern Physics 1 (16.7%)

1 (16.7%)

4 (66.7%)
5. Mechanics

1 (16.7%)

5 (83.3%)
6. Electricity and Magnetism
1 (16.7%)


5 (83.3%)
7. Quantum Mechanics
1 (16.7%)
1 (16.7%)
1 (16.7%)
3 (50%)
8. Laboratory fundamentals 1 (16.7%)

1 (16.7%)
1 (16.7%)
3 (50%)
9. Electronics


1 (16.7%)
5 (75%)
10. Optics



6 (100%)
11. Nuclear Physics 1 (25%)



5 (83.3%)
12. Thermodynamics

2 (33.3%)

4 (66.7%)
13. Medical Physics
1 (25%)


5 (83.3%)


* Ranking of the preparation of our graduates on the following list of skills most used by physicists
  Excellent Good Fair Poor Unable to judge
14. Problem solving 1 (16.7%)
2 (33.3%)
2 (33.3%)
1 (16.7%)

15. Interpersonal skills 2 (33.3%)
2 (33.3%)
2 (33.3%)


16. Technical Writing
3 (50%)

1 (16.7%)
2 (33.3%)
17. Equipment and procedures experience 1 (16.7%)
1 (16.7%)
1 (16.7%)

3 (50%)
18. Statistical concepts 1 (16.7%)

1 (16.7%)
 1(16.7%)
3 (50%)
19. Knowledge of Physics 1 (16.7%)
1 (16.7%)
2 (33.3%)
1 (16.7%)
1 (16.7%)
20. Advanced Mathematics 2 (33.3%)
1 (16.7%)
1 (16.7%)
1 (16.7%)
1 (16.7%)
21. Advanced Computer Skills
2 (33.3%)
1 (16.7%)
1 (16.7%)
2 (33.3%)


* Please rank our graduate's preparation on the following list of qualities needed for graduate school success

Excellent Good Fair Poor Unable to judge
22. Broad knowledge base of science & technical knowledge
3 (50%)
2 (33.3%)
1 (16.7%)

23. Is a team player 4 (66.7%)
1 (16.7%)
1 (16.7%)


24. Desires and is able to learn new fields-is quick study 3 (50%)
2 (33.3%)
1 (16.7%)


25. Communicates well orally and written 2 (33.3%)
2 (33.3%)
1 (16.7%)
1 (16.7%)

26. Well developed problem solving skills
4 (66.7%)
1 (16.7%)
1 (16.7%)

27. Strong work ethic 3 (50%)
3 (50%)



28. Adaptive/flexible 2 (33.3%)
3 (50%)
1 (16.7%)


29. Shows initiative & assertiveness 2 (33.3%)
3 (50%)

1 (16.7%)

30. Enthusiastic in field 3 (50%)
3 (50%)



31. Works with minimum of supervision 3 (50%)
2 (33.3%)

1 (16.7%)



* 32. Rating our overall preparation of our graduate for graduate school
1 (16.7%)
3 (50%)   
2 (33.3%)
0 (0%)      

* 33. Comments that would help us better prepare our graduates for graduate school.

You are doing a very good job, particularly considering that the average background and ability of your students is probably lower than the leading state and private universities. I tend to think that students learn a lot from each other. Thus, having several really good students in a class will benefit all of the students. One area that appears to be weaker than it could be is thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. Many of the graduate students we are recruiting seeem to have had a course in both of these topics and perhaps a better mathematics background. You have done a very good job in motivating the student I have. A bright, well motivated student will soon catch up with the students who may have had more educational opportunities so I am not particularly worried at this stage. By the end of graduate studies here, I expect this student to be able to compete in the national market for physicists.

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CANNOT MEANINGULLY ANSWER BECAUSE I CANNOT TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE PROGRAM AND THE INDIVIDUAL FROM AN EXPERIENCE BASE OF ONE STUDENT

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I am an advisor for this student's MS program. I am not familiar with his coursework but am able to base my ratings on communication with the student during the application/advising process. The degree being pursued is not a Physics degree.

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XXX is an interesting character.  I have taught XXX math physics II. XXX was top of the class.  However, XXX has not done well in some of XXX other classes.  I do not think this has anything to do with XXX undergraduate education.  XXXX is working very well for me as a masters student.  (he/she was marked out to preserve anonymnity)

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The student was well prepared.




Thank all who completed this survey. We appreciate your time in this endeavor.  We will use the information obtained to make decisions about our physics program.  Input from stakeholders is critical to us in this process.
               
                       Report Prepared by Dr. Karen Williams, Professor, ECU Physics Dept.  Rev. 8/14/08.





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