Published Date

January 1, 2014

Resource Type

For Departments, Program of Study

AHA Topics

Academic Departmental Affairs, Teaching & Learning, The History Major, Undergraduate Education

This resource was developed as part of the AHA’s Tuning project.

Institution: Alverno College
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Year: 2014


Alverno College History Faculty (2012), Alverno College history tuning project: alumnae career and education interview. Milwaukee, WI: Alverno College Institute

As part of the Alverno College History Department’s ongoing program review process and the current Tuning Project of the American Historical Society, the Alverno College history department developed a research project centered on professional experiences of our alumnae after graduation. Specifically, it is framed around the questions how are we doing at Alverno in preparing students for their careers? What skills and knowledge did we assist them to develop? And, how adequate are those skills for the kinds of positions they occupy and for the civic interests they have? In order to facility a deep and complex understanding of the ways alumnae might answer these questions, the department decided to use a Behavioral Event Interview instrument based on the work of McClelland (1978) and Rogers & Reisetter (1989). We are currently in the data collection and coding phase of our project which we will continue through summer of 2015.

Research Methodology
Alverno College is a women’s college that recruits a limited number of history majors (17 majors, 15 minors,) and social studies history teacher education majors (18 high school, 20 middle school) for a total of 70 students. As part of our research, our sample will include both history majors and social studies history education majors who have graduated since 2002. We have a goal to conduct at least 20 of these interviews by the end of our data collection phase. Faculty submitted an IRB research application so that their findings can be published at a later date and to adhere to best practices for research using human subjects. The department worked in concert with the college’s Educational Research and Evaluation Department to develop theprotocol. History department faculty are conducting the interviews and were trained in a 3 hour session on how to perform the BEI interview.

The process for each interview follows a standard format.

  1. Alumnae are contacted via email by a history department faculty member.
  2. The alumna is sent an email that contains an attached information sheet describing the process and a consent form.
  3. The faculty member and the alumna schedule an interview in person or over the phone.
  4. Interviews are digitally recorded.
  5. The faculty interviews using the instrument which includes a behavioral event interview and specific questions about the alumna’s continued education and engagement with civic work.
  6. Recordings of the interviews are collected by the primary investigator and transcribed.
  7. History faculty code the interviews conducted by their colleagues and collaboratively evaluate data.
John Savagian

Alverno College