Category Archives: Exit Interviews

An exit interview is a survey conducted with an individual who is separating from an organization or relationship. Most commonly, this occurs between an employee and an organization, a student and an educational institution, or a member and an association. An organization can use the information gained from an exit interview to assess what should be improved, changed, or remain intact.

2014 Exit Interviews

The Office of Assessment recently conducted PharmD exit interviews on April 25 and 28 with the graduating Pharmacy class.  This process requires students to meet in small groups with a faculty member and discuss their experiences in the program.  Students are asked to provide three time slots that are most convenient and are scheduled on a first come, first served basis. A professor provided the Assessment Office with two sections of a scheduled class that the students were asked to attend for the interviews. The students discussed five questions that are related to the three areas of the program (Laboratory, Experiential and Didactic).  The comments and recommendations that were provided are currently being compiled. A report that includes these recommendations will be presented to the Committee on Assessment and Outcomes during the Fall semester.  The participation rate was very high this year with 212 students taking part in this process.   A response rate of 99% is the highest that the Office of Assessment has had in several years.  As part of the exit interview process students also complete the AACP survey, which is used as another assessment tool to gauge student experiences. Exit interviews continue to be an important means to include students in the assessment process. 


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Alumni – Keeping in Touch

In the assessment community, we continuously hear about efforts being made to reach an alumni base that is increasingly more available online, but for some reason, harder to track down. We use several techniques to build our Pharmacy alumni database. As we’ve blogged about before, the Office of Assessment currently manages the College’s Facebook and Twitter pages (as well as this blog). These social media sites function as an excellent modes of communication between the college and all stakeholders (current students, alumni and faculty). We currently use both Facebook and Twitter (Twitter, Facebook) in several important ways:

-Board exam review question contests

-Student event announcements

-Important registration announcements

-Requests for feedback

-Important University re-posts/re-tweets

-Multimedia posts (pictures from student events, ceremonies etc.)

One of the more functional aspects of these sites, is the interconnectivity between them. For example, once this blog entry gets posted, it is also automatically cross-posted to Twitter and Facebook. This connection is important in maintaining a cohesive mode of communication that can be accessed through whichever channel is most convenient for our users. Correspondingly, the users help maintain their connection to us. If we need to ask our alumni for help, surveys or general questions, we know where to go to ask.

The Office of Assessment also continuously updates alumni contact information such as email addresses and phone numbers in order to notify alumni regarding important events or college news. This is done by requesting personal e-mail addresses from graduating pharmacy students, every April, before graduation. This year, we will be expanding this process to include all graduating students from other programs. It is essential to obtain alumni contact information before our students walk out the door at graduation. By engaging our future alumni now, we won’t have to bother them later. We are able to keep them engaged, share useful information, and not overwhelm them with repetitive emails. They choose to engage with us through whatever social media platform they prefer, we just need to make sure that we are available there for them.

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PharmD and Graduate Student Exit Interviews

The Office of Assessment is currently planning and running two sets of exit interviews for the class of 2013.

  • PharmD exit interviews are completed every April with our graduating Pharmacy class. All Pharmacy students complete interviews in small focus groups with a faculty member that asks questions on one of three areas of our program (Laboratory, Didactic or Experiential). This yearly process is scheduled for April 26th and 29th this year. Every year, we compile and provide this data to the Assessment Committee. In turn, the committee uses this information to affect positive change in the College. This process has become increasingly important as the years have gone on.
  • In 2013, we have implemented a new process of conducting exit interviews with graduating Graduate students (Masters and PhD). The process is ongoing and will run into June of 2013. Ideally, this will be a continuous process every year, as students graduate at different times. Once competency exams are passed (for masters students) or students defend successfully (PhD students), we have them interview with a faculty member one-on-one to gauge their opinion on the program. As we’ve learned through PharmD exit interviews, this process is essential. We currently have completed interviews with 7 January graduates and 1 May graduate. 6 more students are scheduled for the next several weeks.

This data is collected and compiled by the Office of Assessment over the summer, and provided to the Committee on Assessment and Outcomes in the beginning of the following academic year.

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Graduate Student Exit Interviews

Every year, we ask our PharmD graduates to complete exit interviews before graduation. These exit interviews serve to give us a student perspective on what our Pharmacy students think about the College, their program, the curriculum and the overall experience. We ask them questions based on the three major components of their education here: didactic, laboratory and experiential. Faculty volunteers conduct these interviews and report their findings to the Office of Assessment. We then compile the data, and present it to the Committee on Assessment and Outcomes.

A new initiative this year, will be the process of conducting exit interviews to graduating MS and PhD students. As MS and PhD students finish at various times, and don’t have nearly as set of a schedule as PharmD students, it becomes difficult to organize the process of exit interviews. This year, the Office of Assessment has taken on the task of tracking down students that are defending and scheduling them for one-on-one interviews with faculty. The hope is that these students show an interest in giving us their opinion of the program by sitting for an interview before they leave us.

As we begin the process of scheduling these May graduates, our next task will be to come to a consensus on questions for the graduate exit interviews. What do we ask these students? Do we stick with the same basic questions that we ask of our PharmD graduates (strengths, weaknesses, general comments)? Or do we go deeper, and ask questions more specifically related to graduate education and how we can foster it within our College?


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