MANILA, Philippines — Recent college graduates now have their chance to tell their alma mater whether they were taught in school the right skills to land good jobs.
The Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) has embarked on a first-ever online Graduate Tracer Study (GTS) that targets at least 12,000 college graduates (baccalaureate and post-graduate levels) from 2006 to 2010.
The nationwide survey, undertaken through De La Salle University’s College of Education and administered on the website www.knowledgecommunity.ph, aims to hear from the graduates themselves the relevance of college education to their employment.
“This is their window to give their feedback,” Benjamin Vergel de Dios, one of the graduate tracker survey coordinators, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
“It’s important because the survey is their direct way to help their alma mater,” he continued.
“This is their chance to tell their alma mater whether they learned enough or not since, being employed, they now have the comparative advantage to say whether there were certain skills that should have been taught or offered (in school),” Vergel de Dios said.
Through the graduate tracker survey results, CHEd and the colleges and universities themselves can improve the quality of various college courses currently offered.
Vergel de Dios said they have randomly selected graduates from 837 colleges and universities out of about 1,900 higher education institutions in the country.
The survey was rolled out last July 31, but after three months it has randomly garnered close to 5,000, according to Vergel de Dios.
So the survey was extended for another month or up to November 30 to get the target 12,000 respondents.
Vergel de Dios said they have resorted to an online survey because of the difficulty of contacting and getting the questionnaires to the target graduates by mail.
Usually the graduates no longer used the last known addresses available in the database of the colleges and universities, he said.
Vergel de Dios said they have also tried to contact the graduates through their e-mail addresses provided by their alma mater, but in many cases even these e-mail addresses were no longer applicable.
He said the last two graduate tracker surveys undertaken by CHEd in 1999 and 2004 were not able to get the desired number of respondents since many of the mailed questionnaires were not answered and returned.
“We need more respondents. The more respondents, the more valid the survey results,” Vergel de Dios stressed.
The online survey would only take about 10 minutes, he pointed out.
But as incentive, he said they would raffle off three iPad to the survey participants.