We love hearing from Springfield College parents, alumni, and friends about their adoration, frustrations, and even ambivalence toward the College. Unfortunately, we do not have the opportunity to hear from everyone. That is why, in 2012, we invited alumni and parents to participate in an attitude study. Approximately 1,300 alumni and 200 parents responded and told us how they felt about different aspects of the College, everything from how they want to receive communications to what they liked about their student experience.
We appreciate your candid feedback. Your responses have and continue to shape the way we engage with our alumni, parents, students, and friends. That is why we are asking you to participate in a follow-up survey on May 5, 2016.
Ninety-four percent of respondents rated their decision to attend Springfield College as “good” or “great,” and 94 percent also characterized their experience as a student as “good” or “great.”
When asked how often they promoted Springfield College to others, more than half of the respondents said “regularly” or “all the time,” while an additional 38 percent stated “occasionally.”
Ninety-three percent of respondents describe their overall opinion of Springfield College as “good” or “excellent.”
Our alumni across all demographic groups responded they were somewhere between “loyal” and “very loyal” to Springfield College.
Our alumni read Triangle magazine at higher rate than other schools’ alumni read their alma mater’s magazines.
Although respondents were positive about their student experience, when asked about their experience as an alumnus, 22 percent characterized it as “excellent,” 51 percent responded “good” and 21 percent responded “fair.” According to Performance Enhancement Group, the organization that conducted the study, these numbers compare favorably with other schools but it is an area we want to improve upon.
While loyalty to the College is strong, younger Springfield College alumni feel stronger affinities for their respective school, academic program, specific faculty, or student organization. And since all demographics feel that Springfield College needs their support and they are interested in giving, the College created new giving opportunities via the Friends of Springfield College Athletics and Friends of East Campus funds. You responded by making more than 2,800 gifts combined to these funds in the last two years.
Respondents felt Springfield College was not meeting their expectations when it came to “identifying job opportunities for graduates.” Likewise, alumni rated “skills and training for a career” as one of the most important areas of their student experience and felt the College was not meeting their needs. To that end, the career center has been very busy developing new opportunities for current students and alumni. Partnering with the Office of Alumni Relations, the career center is in its second year of offering an online career development webinar series, free for all alumni.
The career center section of the College website is loaded with information and opportunities for alumni: a portal for alumni to post jobs for students, a JobConnect system that allows alumni to search for jobs, a statistical report about the status of recent graduates, and the Family Career Network, which allows parents to offer internship or job shadowing opportunities for students. There is also a LinkedIn group for employers, parents, alumni, faculty, and staff.
We found out that you are reading Triangle. (Yay.) And, we found out that most alumni, especially younger alumni, are open to more communications from the College via social media. In addition to the LinkedIn group, we now offer Twitter and Instagram as complements to Facebook in our social media landscape. Young alumni also responded that they would like to attend more events but distance was often an obstacle. The Office of Alumni Relations has started offering more alumni events outside of New England and facilitated initiatives hosted by members of alumni associations in different parts of the country. Additionally, more alumni programming is career-oriented, such as our career-networking event in New York City, and on campus.
One overwhelming response from alumni and parents was an interest in volunteering. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions began by working with alumni at post-acceptance recruiting events to encourage students to enroll. These events were so successful that the admissions staff created new opportunities for alumni to host open houses in their own homes. The yield from these events was significant and will lead to greater collaboration with alumni and admission in the future.
There are more parents and alumni serving on the panels of their respective departments at open houses and more alumni volunteering in the alumni tent for open house events, eager to talk to new and prospective students about Springfield College.
To continue to improve upon our efforts, we need parents and alumni to participate in additional alumni and parent attitude survey in April. The survey will be delivered via email. If you did not receive the last survey but would like to take the next one, please contact the Office of Advancement Services to ensure your email is added to the list. They can be reached at (413) 748-3088 or firstname.lastname@example.org.