May 2016 surveying of 2010-2011 Wake Forest undergraduate degree recipients found high levels of satisfaction with their experiences at WFU, strong sense of connection to WFU community and faculty, and nearly all alumni are either employed full-time or enrolled full-time in graduate school. Though respondents also indicated, while they were at WFU, having lower levels of civic and multicultural engagement.
The Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium (HEDS) is a consortium of private colleges and universities that collaboratively share, analyze, and use data to advance their institutional missions. The HEDS Alumni Survey asks alumni about the quality and impact of their undergraduate educational experiences, including co-curricular activities such as internships, study abroad, and community service. The survey also asks alumni to evaluate the impact of their undergraduate education on their postgraduate critical thinking, problem solving, and other learning outcomes. Finally, the survey asks about postgraduate employment, college satisfaction, and college debt.
The HEDS Alumni Survey was distributed in May, 2016 to 835 undergraduate degree recipients from the 2010-2011 academic year, of whom 163 submitted responses (20% response rate). A greater percentage of survey respondents who indicated race reported being white (90%) than earned their bachelor’s degree in 2010-2011 (84%). Of those respondents who indicated gender, 65% selected female compared to 52% female in the graduating cohort. However, analysis of responses by gender was not conducted due to 20% of the survey respondents not indicating gender. Analysis of the major of the respondents showed no meaningful differences when compared to the entire class of 2010-2011.
Among all the respondents:
- 92% felt some or very strong connection to WFU;
- 91% felt satisfied or very satisfied with their WFU education;
- 83% reported being employed full-time while 13% indicated being graduate school full-time
- About half of the respondents (46%) earned/were earning, or planned to earn an MS/MA/MFA;
- Nearly all respondents reported that faculty were genuinely interested in students (99%) and having had close relationships with faculty (63%);
- Over 90% of respondents indicated WFU contributed positively to their critical thinking and information literacy. In comparison, slightly more than half mentioned Wake had a positive contribution to their civic engagement and intercultural knowledge.
- Most respondents participated in study abroad and/or Greek life. Similarly, respondents reported these activities as their most beneficial experiences.
Respondents expressed through written comments that their experience at WFU prepared them for continued learning in aspects of working certification, language learning and other further studies. However, several respondents wished WFU provided students with more working and financing skills, and created an environment with more diversity.
Items of Positive Movement at WFU (2010-2011 Graduates vs 2007-2008 Graduates)
- Faculty often/very often challenged ideas in class (82% vs 66%)
- Faculty often/very often asked to point out fallacies in ideas, principles, or points of view presented in the course (70% vs 58%)
- Often/very often participated in sorority/fraternity (59% vs 46%)
- Often/very often participated in studying abroad (49% vs 31%)
Items of Negative Movement at WFU (2010-2011 Graduates vs 2007-2008 Graduates)
- Often/very often attended a debate or lecture on a current political/social issue (31% vs 52%)
- WFU contributed quite a bit/very much to effective speaking (72% vs 83%)
- WFU contributed quite a bit/very much to civic engagement (58% vs 69%)
- WFU contributed quite a bit/very much to intercultural knowledge and competence (56% vs 67%)
- Often/very often participated in political organizations or clubs (12% vs 22%)
- Often/very often participated in community service (40% vs 59%)
- Often/very often participated in service organizations (35% vs 62%)
- Often/very often participated in multicultural student groups (12% vs 53%)
- Often/very often participated in off-campus employment (13% vs 38%)
Items in which nonwhite and white respondents differed:
- Faculty often/very often asked to point out fallacies in ideas, principles, or points of view presented in the course (81% nonwhite vs 67% white)
- Often/very often made oral presentations in exams or assignments (70% nonwhite vs 55% white)
- Often/very often participated in performing arts/music (40% nonwhite vs 22% white)
- Contributed quite a bit/very much to creative thinking skills (68% nonwhite vs 86% white)
- Often/very often studied abroad (25% nonwhite vs 53% white)
Compared to the 37 other participating institutions, WFU alumni more frequently indicated participation in activities outside of the class. However, fewer WFU alumni indicated interactions with students differing from themselves, having had a close relationship with faculty, and being employed.
Items in which WFU reached significantly higher proportion:
- Often/very often participated in intramural or club sports (36% vs 25%)
- Often/very often participated in sorority/fraternity (59% vs 16%)
- Often/very often participated in internships (43% vs 30%)
- Often/very often participated in study abroad (49% vs 30%)
- Often/very often had ideas challenged by faculties in class (82% vs 71%)
Items in which WFU reached significantly lower proportion:
- Often/very often participated in a diversity or cultural awareness workshop (15% vs 26%)
- Often/very often had discussions about intergroup relations with students differing from you in gender, national origin, political views, race, religion, sexuality, or values. (28% vs 44%)
- Often/very often had serious discussions with other students about different lifestyles and customs. (40% vs 53%)
- Institution contributed to intercultural knowledge and competence quite a bit/very much (56% vs 69%)
- Benefited quite a bit/very much from multicultural student groups (30% vs 43%)
- Agreed/strongly agreed to having developed a close, personal relationship with at least one faculty member (64% vs 75%)
- Often/very often participated in on-campus employment (41% vs 54%)
- Often/very often participated in off-campus employment (13% vs 24%)
- Benefited quite a bit/very much from intercollegiate athletics (39% vs 59%)