Program & Curricular Change

SNAAP data can inform needed programmatic or curricula changes. For example, SNAAP data may show discrepancies between how alumni rate the importance of certain skills and competencies in the workplace versus how well alumni report their institutions helped them acquire those skills (i.e. creative thinking and problem solving, listening and revising, interpersonal relations and working collaboratively, broad knowledge and education, critical thinking and analysis of arguments and information).

Such discrepancies can illuminate areas in need of improvement. For example, if 81% respondents say that financial and business management skills are "somewhat important" or "very important" to their current work, but only 22% respond that their institution contributed "very much" or "some" to their development of those skills, then an institution may consider (1) requiring business and financial classes, or incorporating these elements into existing courses and/or (2) including classes looking at the "nontraditional" career paths of arts graduates.

The SNAAP questionnaire also asks about alumni satisfaction with programs and services offered (or not offered) by their institution. Programs and services with low satisfaction may need to be revised. For example, if your results show that a majority of alumni were "very dissatisfied" or "dissatisfied" with career advising, you may consider devoting additional resources to develop new components of career advising. These might include:

  • Alumni career panel presentations
  • Resume or portfolio building sessions
  • Networking opportunities for graduating students

Examples

  • University of Utah participated in SNAAP in 2010 and 2013, and noted that there was lower satisfaction with career advising and leadership opportunities for arts students. They developed and funded an Emerging Leaders Program , which includes both a paid internship program and an Emerging Leaders Council.

  • Virginia Commonwealth University found discrepancies in business skills used vs. skills learned and in 2013, introduced a new minor in creative entrepreneurship in response. The program's mission is "designed to prepare undergraduate majors in the creative disciplines to lead their careers and lives as entrepreneurs in the highly connected and complex commercial environment of creative activities."

  • The University of Massachusetts Amherst created a new curriculum in business and arts entrepreneurship for their arts students. They work collaboratively with the "Arts Extension Service" on their campus to develop and teach courses that lead to an "Arts Management Certificate."