Denison University has redoubled its commitment to transparency for student outcomes. The college has created and launched an online resource, which gives the viewer unprecedented access to a broad and deep array of data and information regarding recent graduate employment and other outcomes metrics, such as graduate school acceptance rates, post-graduate fellowships and service opportunities, including Teach for America, Peace Corps and City Year participation. To view the website visit: denison.edu/difference
“Our data are not just centered around placement and acceptance rates,” says Laurel Kennedy, Denison’s vice president for student development. “Our data show the robustness of different types of success. It supports our successful commitment to prepare students not merely for an entry-level job, but for a long life of meaningful contribution to their communities and their workplaces.”
The website data are drawn from several resources, including results from Denison’s participation in the 2014 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), which measures student development outcomes. Such outcomes include the ability to think clearly about complex problems, the ability to write and speak clearly, and the ability to work in teams. These characteristics place highly in employers’ lists of most-sought-out skills and attributes.
The data also are drawn from contact with recently graduated students through the Center for Career Exploration. Through concerted efforts, 96 percent of the Class of 2013 is represented in this data set. The data represent a snapshot of where recent alumni are within six months of their graduation. Similar numbers are posted for 2011 and 2012.
These data include employment information, law and medical school acceptance rates, graduate schools, job titles, first-destination data, NSSE data, post-graduate fellowships, and participation in service organizations.
“Unlike some sites that may use one or two metrics to show evidence of return on investment, we brought together multiple data points to show why a Denison education matters,” says Denison Provost Kim Coplin. “Our data show that a Denison degree within a particular major can lead anywhere. Rather than revealing the ‘best’ job titles and the ‘best’ graduate schools, we aren’t cherry-picking our data. It’s the complete data set.”
The resource may be the first of its type to be accessible and highly visible in multiple forms and in different sections on the college’s website. Data for student outcomes are posted under each major, and the entire data set is linked from pages and sections throughout the website.
“The Denison Difference is a forward-looking web experience,” says Scott Tribble, Denison’s director of digital strategy and development. “It takes a complex set of data and presents it in an easily digestible, visually compelling and mobile-optimized manner.”
“We are thrilled to be able to present a comprehensive picture of the success that our students are experiencing right out of college,” says Kennedy, “and we are looking for ways to duplicate that picture as our alumni advance in their careers and their lives. The data here support that our focus on ‘the whole student’ is transformational for them. We look forward to substantiating that even further.”