Success Our Students Can Count On

Success You Can Count On
Denison surveyed young alumni about their postgraduate success, and the results are in.

While you are thinking about what the next four years in college will look like, you’re probably also wondering what’s going to happen after college. We’re focused on that, too. Denison helps its students build the life they want to lead and creates the pathways to get them there. And we have the numbers to prove it.

Every year, we ask our recent graduates questions about their success and how their Denison education contributed to it. You’ll be glad to know that within six months of graduation, 90 percent of Denisonians are employed, in grad school, or pursuing a service opportunity or award, like a Fulbright. In addition, the number of Denison graduates accepted to medical and law school exceeds the national average.

And from there, the news gets even better. In fact, our most recent data show that 93 percent of alumni are established in their desired field or position, or they are on their way to achieving what they want to accomplish professionally, within just five years of graduation. In addition, 93 percent of alumni are satisfied with how well Denison prepared them for professional success after college.

Our alumni are telling us that Denison is doing a great job – and now we’re taking it up a notch (or two). The Austin E. Knowlton Foundation just endowed Denison with a $9.3 million gift for career preparation. The new Knowlton Center is ramping up its programming, engaging with
students over all four years on campus, and offering internships, skill-specific education and lots of contact with our vast alumni network.

But you can’t go out in the world and do great things without a first-class education. And we work hard to make that happen. Our grads give us very high marks on our contributions to the development of several skills that surveys have shown employers really value: the ability to think critically, solve problems, write and speak clearly, and work well with others. And a liberal arts background is a fantastic foundation for those skills.

In fact, 95 percent of our alumni report that their Denison experience contributed to their ability to think critically; 94 percent report that their education added to their ability to write clearly and effectively; 91 percent said it contributed to their ability to speak clearly and effectively, and 86 percent reported it contributed to their ability to work effectively in teams.

Moving beyond skills, mentoring is crucial. They are the most valuable relationships students can have with teachers, according to Dan Chambliss and Christopher Takacs in their recent book, “How College Works.” Fully 92 percent of Denison alumni report having at least one close relationship with a faculty or staff member during their time in college. These relationships provide students with the support to grow and develop. In the survey, an alumnus reflected:

For me, the greatest assets of a Denison education are the close, personal relationships with Denison faculty and staff. At Denison, I always felt that I had faculty and staff looking out for me and going out of their way to help me succeed in school and in life, in the (then) present and the future. At Denison, these individuals really knew me and were invested in my personal and professional success—they weren't just teachers, they were advocates, friends, life coaches, and mentors, and I wouldn't be where I am without them.”

Our alumni and their success are proof that a Denison education — inside and outside the classroom — provides the knowledge, relationships and skills that are necessary to lead lives of personal, professional, and civic success.

Choosing a college shouldn’t feel like you’re gambling with your future. The data support what Denisonians have long known in their hearts to be true: a Denison education prepares our students to lead successful and fulfilling lives after college.

And if you’re interested in more data about alumni success, we invite you to check out our Denison Difference page.

    April 20, 2016