Results in alumni survey show promise for future graduates

The year of 2008 may have been a tough year for some graduates entering the traditional American workplace with the United States’ economic crisis, a lack of available jobs and, most importantly, a lack of confidence in the future as news across the nation reported time and time again.

This, however, proved not to be  true for the Keene State College graduates of 2008, according to a recent survey showing that 98 percent of KSC’s 2008 graduate respondents are employed or furthering their education.

The survey, conducted by the Office of Institutional Research, has implemented a feeling of confidence across the KSC campus, faculty and students said.

Cathryn Turrentine, the director of institutional research on campus, shared that she was especially satisfied with the survey’s results.

“[Year] Two-thousand-and-eight was a really bad year in the economy, not just for our students, but for everybody,” Turrentine said,

“I was so pleased that the employment and the rates of students furthering their education was so high for the class of two-thousand-and-eight.”

Tureentine continued, “Sometimes we worry about students who graduate into a bad economy catching up. Well, this data shows that our students are employed at a very high level.”

The survey also found that among those students that are employed, 76 percent reported that their current position is one that somewhat or directly correlates with their related studies at KSC.

Erin D’Aleo / Graphics Editor: A survey conducted by the Keene State College Office of Institutional Research showed what 2008 alumni are doing post graduation and how KSC helped them become successful.

Erin D’Aleo / Graphics Editor:
A survey conducted by the Keene State College Office of Institutional Research showed what 2008 alumni are doing post graduation and how KSC helped them become successful.

Seventy-five percent of the survey respondents felt that KSC prepared them well for their employment, according to the survey which can be found on Keene State College’s website.

Samantha Provencher, a sophomore at KSC, said she felt confident about the survey’s findings.

“I’m really happy to hear about these statistics for the class of two-thousand-and-eight,” Provencher said, adding, “This gives current students like myself the hope and drive to continue their education here at Keene [State College]. I know there are always some students skeptical about whether or not they should’ve attended a bigger school. I think these numbers will give those people more confidence in our school.”

Sophomore Alexandra Oliveri had a similar approach to the survey results.

“When I was a freshman, I was thinking about transferring to a bigger school because I thought it’d make more sense for my future,” Oliveri said.

“I’m so happy to hear how successful our graduates are. It really makes me believe in our school and I’m so grateful that I stayed here,” Oliveri concluded.

Out of the 999 students of the class of 2008, KSC was able to contact 373 of the graduates.

The alumni were surveyed primarily through an online process distributed in their emails.

To achieve a more valid pool, alumni who had not responded to the survey were then contacted by phone and asked the same questions.

In the end, 156 recent alums responded.

Turrentine explained the validity of the survey process.

“We compared the responses of the people we called to the people who originally answered the questions online and we found that there was no statistical difference between the two groups. That tells us that the responses we have from the survey are likely to be representative of the larger group,” Turrentine said.

The director continued, “It’s very, very important to know this. People always say, ‘well, if people are employed, they’re the ones willing to respond to the survey.’”

“We have found that by doing the follow-up calling proves that the people who respond are just like everyone else in the survey,” she said.

​Students employed at the Phonathon, located in the Alumni Center, helped out with the follow-up calls.

Provencher shared some of her experiences calling recent graduates. ​“I’ve really only spoke to a few recent graduates who are unemployed. Mostly everyone I talk to either has a job or are going to graduate school,” Provencher said.

“I always love talking to people who have recently graduated because it gives me a sense of comfort in my own future. It feels great to hear how well our alumni are doing,” Provencher said.

​They contained a section that included the additional activities that 2008 graduates are involved with titled, “What Else Are Alumni Doing?” This included quotes from the survey responses about categories like marriage, family, home ownership, community service, professional accomplishments and travel that told what else the 2008 alumni have been doing.

Students reacted positively to this section.

​“I loved hearing about that section because not only are these two-thousand-and-eight graduates successful in their careers, they’re also living their lives to the fullest,” Oliveri said, adding, “It really is great to hear that after I graduate, I know that I can be successful, too.”

​The results from the survey regarding the 2008 graduates served as a reminder of the importance of the hard work done at KSC.

​“We distribute surveys because we want to assess the work we do. We want to know what we do well and what we can do better,” Turrentine said and noted that, “the trustees want to know the employment rate of our graduates, it’s part of President Obama’s national scorecard. We want to have accurate information to share when people ask.”

​Turrentine went on to discuss the future for graduate surveys identical to this one.

“We will do one every year,” Turrentine said. Turrentine concluded, “We always want to do better.”


Stephanie McCann can be contacted at

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