WWU 2008 survey of Alumni Who Graduated Between summer 2006 and Spring 2007 - Department Report

Beth Hartsoch, Western Washington University
Linda Clark, Western Washington University
John Krieg, Western Washington University
Gary R. McKinney, Western Washington University
Joseph E. Trimble, Western Washington University


Since 1990, Western’s Office of Survey Research (OSR) has surveyed alumni every other year. Alumni who are one to two years past graduation are invited to participate. They are asked to reflect on their experiences at Western, and about 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, their level of satisfaction with Western’s student services, their satisfaction with their major, and the ways Western might expedite time to degree. In addition, they 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,” presents the full complement of responses to these questions and may be accessed at: http://www.wwu.edu/socad/osr/AlumniSurveys.shtml. Because individual colleges and departments can frequently benefit from data derived from their own graduates, this report presents a portion of the alumni survey data divided by academic unit. Presenting the entire set of survey results by department is possible, but in hopes of creating a more accessible report, the data presented here are those likely to be of most use to campus leaders in ev