An Alumni Survey to Assess Self-Reported Career Preparation Attained at a US Veterinary School

J Vet Med Educ. Winter 2007;34(5):683-8. doi: 10.3138/jvme.34.5.683.


The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council on Education (COE) has challenged veterinary schools to improve self-assessment of curricular outcomes. One way to assess the quality of education is to gather feedback from alumni. To successfully gather feedback using a questionnaire, questions must be pertinent to veterinary education and include quantifiable responses. Several principles must be applied in questionnaire development to ensure that the questions address the intended issues, that questions are interpreted correctly and consistently, and that responses are quantifiable. The objectives of the questionnaire for alumni of Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine (MSU-CVM) were twofold: (1) to determine whether graduates were comparable to their US peers in terms of work opportunities and salary, and (2) to evaluate how well the CVM curriculum prepared students to begin their veterinary careers. Demographic categories used by the AVMA and published knowledge, skills, attitudes, and aptitudes of veterinary graduates were used in developing the questions. College-specific questions, such as those relating to student activities and impressions of college resources, were also incorporated. Questionnaires were mailed to participants, who could respond via the World Wide Web. Questionnaire results allowed leaders within the college to determine which aspects of alumni's experiences were exceptionally positive, which needed immediate response, and which might require further study. This article describes the application of principles in developing, administering, and analyzing responses to a questionnaire regarding veterinary education.

MeSH terms

  • Career Choice
  • Career Mobility*
  • Clinical Competence
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Veterinary / standards*
  • Educational Measurement*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Salaries and Fringe Benefits / statistics & numerical data*
  • Schools, Veterinary / standards
  • Schools, Veterinary / statistics & numerical data*
  • Self Disclosure
  • Sex Distribution
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States