Alumni Outcomes

EWU’s First Destination Survey collects data about alumni outcomes within six (6) months after graduation. In accordance with survey guidelines from the professional association for career service professionals, National Association for Colleges and Employers, the EWU Career Center began collecting this data in 2015.

Primarily, the data collected pertains to employment outcomes, salary, and pursuit of graduate degrees. Since 2015, we have worked with college and departmental leadership to modify our surveys to collect additional data relevant to their accreditation processes, programmatic goals, and the mission of our institution. Examples include questions about alumni locations, desire to stay connected to their programs, and desired improvements at the institution.

The data collected between 2015 and 2020 was obtained through incredibly manual processes (e.g. Outlook email and phone calls) and over a year after most alumni had graduated. This resulted in lower than desired response rates and made it more difficult to take action based upon the survey results.

Beginning in Spring 2021, the EWU Career Center began conducting the survey using a first destination tool included with their career management platform, Handshake. This process change will allow the Career Center to:

  1. Streamline distribution of the survey,
  2. Collect data in a more timely manner (at the end of Fall and Spring quarters as students graduate),
  3. Improve response rates (through warnings, automation, incentives, and targeting messaging), and
  4. Begin reviewing data before collection is completed.

Furthermore, Handshake offers built-in reporting tools so that we can quickly filter, compare and distribute data. As more schools opt-into collecting first destination data through the platform, Handshake continues to collect feedback and improve upon this incredible tool.