Improving post-program survey response rate
Best Practices in Student Placement Follow-Up: Champlain Valley Educational Services
In reviews CTE programming throughout the state, The New York State CTE Technical Assistance Center has identified two best practices in the collection of follow-up data.
Champlain Valley Educational Services achieves a response rate of over 90% on their follow-up student placement survey .
Preparation: The student follow-up is conducted 6 months after graduation, but the preparation for it starts in early June just before the students graduate from the program. At that time a student exit survey is given to the students. The secondary students do the survey on-line while sometimes the adult students use a paper version. Students are told that they will be contacted in November or December and are asked to update their contact information including phone, cell phone and e-mail. Students advise the CTE program about their plans for post-secondary education and/or employment. They are also asked to evaluate the program they were in, and if used, the support services provided by the Tech Center.
Conducting the survey: Around October 1, the CTE Student Services Coordinator sends contact logs to the teachers to review for the students who were in their classes. The teacher updates information for students they have been in contact with. At that point, the teachers and the Coordinator start making calls to those who have not been in contact. If they cannot contact the students with the information they have, they seek updated phone numbers, search by name, use e-mail and match with hometown, contact other students who may know them or use social media.
An added benefit to the follow-up is assistance with job placement. When students are called and indicate that they are not employed, a list of people who are looking for jobs is matched up with jobs that are found by the Coordinator in want ads and posted on a job board.
Fowler High School: Use of Social Media for Follow-up
The cosmetology program in Fowler High School of the Syracuse City School District uses social media to obtain more complete follow-up data. A Facebook page has been created for graduates of the cosmetology program. This allows the students to continue the connections formed in the program. The teacher can follow up on the students to see where they may be employed or if they are attending postsecondary education. The space is a source of support and job shadowing opportunities also serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas.
Other ideas to improve survey response rate: Provide instructors with a copy of the survey form. In the event that students visit, the instructor can collect the needed information directly. If possible, obtain the student's e-mail address or other contact information prior to the end of the program. Smaller programs might be able to contract the student's parents for the placement information if the student does not respond.