ECU PHYSICS Assessment
Survey Results
Original Text of Survey with Results Below.

Survey was adapted from American Institute of Physics Survey by Dr. Karen Williams
who also paid for the FormSite.come services.

Graduate email addresses were emailed a link to survey. 
Survey was anonymous.  Results were not examined per form but collectively.
Emailed to 34 addresses, 2 were bad.  In one month received 27 responses. (6/14/06-7/14/06).
In Summer 2008, emailed to 7 graduates, rec'd 6 forms.  Updated #'s so this table contains all assessment data to date.

The ECU Administration requires that the ECU Physics Faculty assess our physics graduates. Dr. Rutledge and Dr. Williams would like you to take a few moments of your time and fill out this online survey. It is used for our assessment of the BS physics degree you earned. We appreciate the time and honesty in completing the survey. This survey is anonymous, so answer freely. Thank you in advance.

* 1. Select the degree you received from ECU.
  31   
     2  
     0  

* For preparing you for a CAREER or GRADUATE SCHOOL, how adequate was the education you received as part of your phyiscs-related BS degree in the area of
  excellent slightly less than excellent about right less than about right terrible not used in your career/grad school
1. Understanding of basic physics principles 63.6%
18.2%
18.2%
0
0
0
2. Scientific or technical problem solving 60.6%
27.3%
9.1%
3%
0
0
3. Mathematical skills 63.6%
9.1%
21.2%
6.1%
0
0
4. Scientific research experience 27.3%
12.1%
36.4%
15.2%
0
9.1%
5. Computer programming 9.1%
21.2%
24.2%
27.3%
3.0%
15.2%
6. Scientific software 24.2%
15.2%
18.2%
27.3%
6.1%
9.1%
7. Lab or instrumentation skills 51.5%
21.2%
9.1% 18.2%
0
0
8. Knowledge of physics 57.6%
18.2%
24.2%
0
0
0
9. Writing skills 33.3%
18.2%
36.4%
9.1%
0
3.0%
10. Oral communication skills 27.3%
30.3%
30.3%
9.1%
0
3.0%
11. Collaboration and team work skills 57.6%
15.2%
24.2%
0
0
3.0%


* 13. If you could have had more training or emphasis in your bachelor's program, which TWO areas would have been most helpful to you?

Graduate Responses:
Electrodynamics (suggestion: the physics curriculum should have  two semesters of Electrodynamics, Griffiths and cover the whole book; very helpful for graduate school) and Quantum Mechanics (I suggest that you use "Quantum Mechanics: Concepts and Applications" - Nouredine Zettili).  Including more computer science classes as a requirement for the major would be very helpful.

Electronics and Fluid Dynamics

Handing difficult students.
More in depth lab experiences

Research and grad school placement

Although not offered at the time a course in basic aerodynamics or aeronautical engineering.  I didn't choose a career in physics but I firmly believe that the curriculum and professors did a great job in setting me up for graduate school

More Quantum Computer Languages (FORTRAN or at least MATLAB)

Because of the way the class schedule fell, I had to take the GRE without having had Quantum. I do not know if there is a solution, but it is the only thing that I think could have been more helpfull. Everything else was very well done.

More math classes and more upper level classes, the research experience can be upped through summer programs. Maybe also more knowledge of applications and possibilities of a physics degree in the work force.

Scientific Software and instrumentation skills

because i was teacher ed i would have liked to have had more lab instruction for high school applications.

Mathematics and scientific software

Programming Oral Communication

I know funding is tight at such a small school, but more advanced equipment in the laboratory would be something to sork towards. Other than this, I can't think of anything that could be improved upon.

Making Differential Equations and Statistics mandatory for Physics majors, possibly more Computer Programming too.

phsical application

computer modeling

more diverse courses like digital logics, circuit designs more of hands on related classes, maybe something like projects etc.

no response

Chemistry & Statistics

An emphasis in technical writing and statistics would have been extremely helpful

1. More group work / team assignments would have been helpful. Working with a lab group is great, but possibly the intergration of more small and/or large group assignments would help to prepare physics majors for the real world work force more effectively.
2. ?

Writing skill; oral communication skills.

A History of Physics course, and an additional Modern Physics course

I wish I would have had more kinesiology.

Fluid Mechanics (We skipped this section). Statics & Dynamics (Strength of materials).

Chemistry Computer Science

Lab or instrumentation skills Writing skills

Using computer progams such as Excel to produce/report scientific information. Techinical writing

I would say that more exposure to software packages is definitely necessary (covers 6 & 7 both in my opinion). Having used Matlab, Pspice (or Spice), and even Excel would have been a big help in graduate school. Additional opportunites to present results to a group would have been beneficial as well (e.g presenting experimental results to a lab class). Instructions say two areas, but the addition of a project-type class would be great. Maybe even two classes one junior-level and one senior-level (both required for the degree).

I would have enjoyed more APPLIED PHYSICS (mechanical, structural, etc). Also, wider exposure to software applications (finite element analysis, etc) would have been nice. Those are both a little outside the scope of a BS in physics, though.

More emphasis on reports and documentation. Perhaps more diagnostics and lab oriented problem solving.

I would have like more classes involving team oriented research projects.




* 14. How has your undergraduate education shaped your career or success in graduate school? Describe the ONE or TWO most important influences of your undergraduate education on your career/graduate school.

Graduate Responses

Although I didn't choose a career in physics, there are still many aspects of my job where a physics background comes in handy.  During my time at ECU I had a full time job and was a member of the Air National Guard.  The support given to me by my professors was above and beyond anything to be expected.  Their patience and flexibility in working around my military and aviation career was a instrumental in allowing me to finish the physics program and recieve my degree. On many occasions they went out of their way to make sure I recieved the proper notes and, if needed, instruction after missing classes due to military obligations.

My undergraduate education has helped me become more persistent and organized with my studies,gain better time management skills, build the basic knowledge necessary to continue my studies at the graduate level, and improve my problem solving skills.

My undergraduate education gave me the math and thermo dynamic skills that I use on a daily basis.  Most importantly is the problem solving skills that I use in every aspect of my career.

I had a great advisor who kept me motivated about my physics education. Earning a physics degree is a challenge, the wisdom I had available to me was a significant help.

It has helped me to understand the concepts to a degree that I can design lesson plans that build on each other to create a complete picture of the subject being taught.

Understanding of physics concepts

It might just have been the class that I was in, but we learned to work in groups very well. In todays business world, that is an extremely valuable skill.

Being able to work together with the other students for studying (good study skills in general), and the ability to approach teachers for help.

Smaller class sizes and proffessors who really wanted the students to understand the material.

N/A

The encouragement from the professors to do summer research. The time the professors took to make sure the student was understanding the material.

The ability to use scientific reasoning to solve problems.

The ability to work through difficult, and sometimes, seemingly impossible problems, as well as learning to work within a team towards a common goal. These are probably the most important skills anyone can get out of any field of study.

Yes, very much. I give my number one skill believe it or not to strategic problem solving and analyzing. The techniques that I use to do this have made me excellent at resolving problems and situations. I also give my mathematical skills a big plus too.

work ethic

overall knowledge of physics and the ability to solve problems are most useful in my present position.

helped me get to the graduate school.

no response

Problem solving abilities & mathematics

My undergraduate education helped to prepare me for the grueling tasks of lots of research and studying for graduate school.

I am now out of my major field, but constantly use knowledge I gained from ECU Physics that I wouldn't have gained from some other major. Ex - problem solving, measurement devices, real world physics application, etc.

I got a broad background in the mathematical sciences and that helped me greatly.

It has made the graduate courses I have taken seem like a true breeze, because I learned how to study in my undergraduate courses.

It has helped me to think more critically and to assess problems in a different way.

It taught me very good analytical/problem solving skills. It also shows any potential employers that I have the ability to learn.

I is probably the primary reason that I was hired into my current position.

fundamental problem solving skills strong support from physics dept. staff

The mathematical and physics principals learned at ECU laid the groundwork for all of the engineering courses and work that I have performed.

My main influence was the people - Drs. Rutledge and Williams. Having instructors (aka mentors) like them make learning fun. They were also always willing to help. The curriculum was another influence - provided sufficient base of knowledge for graduate school.

PROBLEM SOLVING and APPLYING BASIC PRINCIPLES to everyday challenges

It gave me a lot of confidence that I could learn to do wide variety of things. Again, the knowledge that I could understand and learn a wide spectrum of material helped me a lot.

My physics degree gave me the ability to solve problems. With this knowledge, almost any career is achievable.

* How satisfied are you with the physics-related bachelor's degree program you completed with respect to

  very satisfied somewhat satisfied neither satisfied or dissatisfied somewhat dissatisfied very dissatisfied
15. Curriculum 57.6%
30.3%
9.1%
3.0%
0
16. Teaching in your major 81.8%
12.1%
6.1%
0
0
17. Professors in your major as mentors or role models 90.9%
6.1%
3.0%
0
0
18. Advising in your major 90.9%
6.1%
3.0%
0
0
19. Supportiveness of professors in your major 93.9%
3.0%
3.0%
0
0
20. Working relationships with the professors in your major 93.9%
3.0%
3.0%
0
0
21. Working relationships with the other students in your major 66.7%
33.3%
0
0
0

* The Physics dept. mission statement is to prepare students to enter the work force in a career and to prepare students for graduate school. Overall, did the ECU physics dept. (physics curriculum & faculty)
  Yes No Does not apply
22. Prepare you well for entrance to the work force (career) ? 72.7%
3.0% (1)
24.2%
23. Prepare you well for entrance into graduate school ? 57.6%
3.0% (1)
39.4%

24. And the last question, when did you graduate with your BS Physics degree?

Before 1998:  7 (21.2%)
After 1998:    26 (78.8%)






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