Alumni survey results

In November 2009, for the first time in more than 10 years, John Carroll engaged alumni nationwide in an electronic survey sponsored by the JCU Alumni Association. We asked you for your opinions, and you readily engaged us in a conversation. We wanted your feedback about existing programs and how we can better meet your expectations.

Thank you to the 2,694 alumni who responded to our survey. We achieved a response rate of 19.24% (national average is 14%). We asked 27 questions and seven open-ended questions. We heard from former Day Hops, Student Union members, WJCU Radio DJ’s, U-Club, IXY’s, Rugby players, RAs, Carroll News reporters, ROTC cadets, and many who worked full-time while attending Carroll. Over 300 pages of qualitative answers were received and more than 700 alumni provided names and offered to be part of focus groups or ongoing engagement with John Carroll University.

57 % of the respondents were male; 43 % female. Approximately 12% of the respondents graduated prior to 1963; 15% graduated between 1964 and 1974; 10% graduated between 1974 and 1980; 21% graduated between 1981 and 1993; 14% graduated between 1994 and 2000; and 28% graduated since 2001. Here is what you told us:

Good to Excellent College Experience
Overall, our alumni are pleased with their experience at John Carroll University. 91% of respondents reported either a “good” or “excellent” experience, and 69% say their experience since they graduated is “good” or “excellent” (equal to the national average).

Value and Respect Your Degree
Remember that moment when you walked across the stage to receive your diploma from Carroll? Nearly 90% of you told us that the most important thing is how you value and respect your degree. You want to know that the equity of your degree is improving and will improve more over time. You want us to tell you how your degree is increasing in value.

Respect for Carroll’s History and Tradition
You also told us that you respect the rich history and traditions of John Carroll University and that you want to know about the accomplishments of our current students. You shared with us which John Carroll person made the greatest impact on your life. Look for stories on many of these individuals in future issues of the alumni magazine and on our website.

Career Networking and Jobs
A particularly notable finding was about alumni programs and services, including which are the most valued, and where alumni would like to see the University do more. “Identifying job opportunities” rose to the top in importance—specifically, a more effective alumni job network for younger alumni. Also, a considerable number of alumni expressed interest in mentoring current JCU students.

Communication with Alumni
You told us our communication with you is “just about right” on specific questions related to frequency of the magazine, e-mails, phone calls, or paper invitations to alumni events or news about JCU. Most of you responded that you read the magazine. Recent graduates suggested that we have a greater presence with online social networking, like Facebook. If you would like to join our 2,923 Facebook fans, see www.facebook.com/JCU1886.

Barriers to Participation in Alumni Activities
Respondents identified time constraints, geographic distance, and family/job commitments as the three greatest barriers to their participation in alumni activities. Perceived value and related cost, as well as the possibility of not knowing anyone, were also barriers for younger alumni related to participation in alumni activities.

We have identified the following action items as a result of the survey:

  • Provide feedback to all alumni about the survey results.
  • Increase branding efforts
  • Expand career-related programs for both students and alumni, and
    engage alumni in the effort create a more effective and accessible
    alumni network.
  • Communicate outcomes from successful events (not just tell us about
    an event that took place but give alumni more advance notice and share details about who was there and what was accomplished).
  • Create more programs and communications targeted to the “-2/+3” alumni to engage students while they are juniors on campus or within the first three years of graduation to
    keep a connection with Carroll
  • Engage alumni who live out-of-state.
  • Offer opportunities for alumni to provide feedback and engage in activities at JCU.
Distribution and Response
Response Rate 19.24%
Returned Email (bad addresses) 1,689
Presumed Delivered 14,031
Number of responses 2,694

John Carroll asked alumni for your time and your opinions. You responded, and we sincerely thank you for telling us what you think about your alma mater and how we can better engage you in the future. In the coming months, we will continue to implement these action items, as well as other new programs, events, and outreach efforts, in a way that best serves you.


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