Use the advanced tools in online survey software to create effective and engaging alumni surveys
Over time, the alumni survey has expanded in purpose. The intent of alumni surveys is to keep alumni associations up-to-date on alumni life since graduation. They are used to assess a former student’s college experiences and alumni satisfaction on such aspects as academic experiences (quality of professors and departments), student experiences (campus environment, extracurricular activities, counseling services, technology resources). They are also used to assess how alumni are transitioning from academic life to career life, and to measure the relationship of their college major to his/her current employment. Alumni surveys have expanded in scope to include questions pertaining to the skills and competencies students acquired in preparation for their career, as well as measure how engaged a student was during his/her academic life.
Administering alumni surveys is all in an effort to generate insights into institutional quality improvements. Additionally, the collective data will help institutions to provide statistical information for the purpose of accreditation and external reporting.
Declining state support for colleges and universities has forced institutions to seek other sources of revenue. In an effort to curtail the rising costs of tuition and fees, colleges and universities have sought funding through alumni giving. Many alumni surveys now gather financial information to examine how likely their alumni are to support the institution. Many colleges and universities rely heavily on the financial support of their alumni. As such, institutions devote their time and resources to develop online alumni surveys to learn more about their alumni in hopes that they may give back to the institution through monetary gifts, in addition to insights and information used for quality improvements.
Topics used for question development in alumni surveys:
- Current job satisfaction
- Overall career satisfaction
- Advanced education since graduation
- Extent of preparedness for employment
- Financial attainment
- Civic participation
- Political involvement
- Past alumni association involvement
Continued engagement with an institution’s alumni is also important. Alumni Engagement Surveys evaluate alumni attitudes and provides an objective measure of alumni engagement. It provides schools with information they need to build more engaged alumni communities and increase alumni giving. Alumni relations professionals can assign scores to survey questions and generate alumni engagement scores on each survey respondent to identify their most engaged alumni. This is a great capability for recruiting alumni to events, serve as alumni leaders, and participate in giving.