Alumni Perceptions of Improvements Needed in the TN Tech School of Agriculture


  • Marisa Phelps


Any university, regardless of the size of the institution, inherently takes upon itself the responsibility of cultivating the most employable college graduates possible. A university’s never-ending quest to stamp its impression upon various industries through their graduates is quintessential to its continuity and the success of its students. Its alumni are undoubtedly a reflection of the quality of the institution. This study was conducted amongst Tennessee Technological University’s School of Agriculture alumni in order to magnify what qualities they feel are strengths in the School of Agriculture as well as what strikes them as opportunities for improvement. The perceived value of courses and educational methods in relevance to their current careers were also evaluated. Responses were collected via Qualtrics using quantitative and qualitative research methods. Overall, it was found that the faculty-student relationships within the School of Agriculture were an overwhelming strength. Additionally, alumni identified laboratory experiences in agriculture courses and leadership training in clubs and organizations were beneficial in pursuing current professional endeavors. Meanwhile many graduates felt that support regarding assistance with internship placement was inadequate and their personal marketing skills - resume skills and interviewing abilities, were in need of improvement prior to graduation. Graduates also offered valuable feedback regarding improvements for their particular concentration. The evidence presented has profound implications on the School of Agriculture - how the School may be refined in order to produce students who obtain employment with minimal stress and how it may ameliorate students’ experience during their tenure at TN Tech.