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Executive Summary: Since 1990, Western’s Office of Survey Research (OSR) has surveyed alumni biennially. Alumni who are one to two years past graduation are invited to participate. They reflect on their experiences at Western, and on their current situation regarding family, education, and employment. OSR uses a mixture of online and telephone survey methodologies, then, when applicable, links survey results with Western’s student records, thus expanding their usefulness to researchers. The 2008 alumni survey was administered to graduates earning their bachelor’s degrees between the summer of 2006 and spring of 2007. Of the 3,028 eligible alumni, OSR received valid responses from 1,093 (response rate of 36%). The full survey asked questions regarding financial status, plans for postgraduate education, and issues of employment search and job characteristics. Alumni were also asked retrospective questions regarding their Western experience, including the challenges they faced, impediments to timely graduation, their level of satisfaction with Western’s student services and their satisfaction with their major. In addition, alumni were asked to rate their academic competencies when they entered Western and how they rate those same competencies now. A second report based on the same Alumni survey, entitled “Western Washington University 2008 Survey of Alumni who Graduated between Summer, 2006, and Spring, 2007, Department Report,” presents a sample of findings disaggregated by the college and department level, and may be accessed at: As with any survey, readers should be concerned with sample selection bias; that is, bias which arises because survey responders are not a random selection from the population. While sample selection bias for Western’s alumni survey has been mitigated through proper survey techniques, its presence should always be considered when evaluating data. With that said, the first t








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