What’s the value of a Denison education? To answer that question, we turn to experts who can tell us firsthand: recent alumni. Each year, we survey alumni five years after graduation—to hear about their experiences post-Denison and the ways in which they felt prepared for professional success.
So, what do we learn from talking with alumni? Here are the most recent data on the subject.
First, at the five-year mark since graduation, 95% of alumni are on their way to achieving their professional goals in their desired field or position. In addition, 94% are satisfied with how well Denison prepared them for professional success. Alumni, overwhelmingly, have successfully launched into their professional paths at this five-year snapshot.
We also know that because of their courses and professors at Denison, nearly 90% indicate being well-prepared for graduate school. Denison’s rigorous courses, engaging professors, and abundant undergraduate research opportunities all contributed to their ability to thrive at the graduate level. When asked to articulate the value of a Denison education, alums spoke at great length about the power of this type of mentorship from Denison faculty and staff. In fact, 92% of alumni report having at least one close relationship with a faculty or staff member. One alumna described the mentorship she received at Denison:
“For me, the greatest asset of a Denison education is 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.”
Alums also spoke about the ways in which their curricular experience prepared them for success in the workplace, allowing them to hit the ground running in their first job: “At Denison, you are challenged not to just read the material but to comprehend it. Not to regurgitate it, but to apply it to what is happening in your own life and the outside world. You don't know how important this is until you are placed in a work team at your new job and realize you are the only one with all of the skills and knowledge to get the project going from start to finish.”
We also know that the Denison experience—both in and outside the classroom—provides opportunities to develop skills for professional success: critical thinking, written and oral communication, and teamwork, to name just a few. Employers seek candidates who can work collaboratively with others. One alumnus spoke to how Denison contributes to the cultivation of teamwork: “Professionally Denison taught me the importance of true leadership and how to reach across the aisle to people who don't share same ideas or life experiences and still produce something that works for all.”