An essay by Dr. Jennifer Sasser, gerontology program director, was published in the International Journal of Reminiscence and Lifelong Learning in January 2015.
Every term we ask our students about their experience through course evaluations. Every few years we survey students to learn how satisfied they are with their overall Marylhurst experience. But it doesn't stop there.
Two years after graduation, we reach out to our alumni to find out how Marylhurst has changed their lives.
We ask what they are doing professionally and in furthering their education. Are Marylhurst's alumni resources satisfactory? In what ways has their Marylhurst education had an impact on their lives since graduation? How satisfied are they with the instruction they received at Marylhurst?
The answers to these questions help us understand what we are doing right – and what areas we need to improve.
Highlights of the 2012 alumni survey:
83% of alumni respondents are employed
80% are very or extremely satisfied with their Marylhurst education
88% agree or strongly agree that Marylhurst supported them well in their primary goal of pursuing education at Marylhurst
84% agree or strongly agree that their Marylhurst experiences inspired them to continue to learn and seek new learning opportunities
At least 90% of respondents felt the critical thinking skills, speaking and listening skills, and writing skills emphasis at Marylhurst were relevant or very relevant to their current pursuits (94%, 92%, and 90% respectively).
We also learned that a significant number (33%) feel it is important or very important to be connected to Marylhurst as an alum but also report having a weak connection or lack of connection. This is one of the areas identified for improvement, and the university is examining ways to close this gap. For example, the School of Business and College of Arts & Sciences are presently looking into ways to better engage with students as they move beyond their Marylhurst years, and discern exactly how students want to be engaged with Marylhurst as alumni.
Alumni who graduated fall 2010 through summer 2011 will receive the alumni survey in April 2013. If you receive a survey, please share your experience with us. It really matters!