2012 Springfield College Alumni & Parent Attitude Studies
Summary of Results
The Springfield College Division of Development and Alumni Relations recently worked with the Performance Enhancement Group (PEG) to conduct a comprehensive survey of our alumni and parents. The Alumni Attitude Study is a nation-wide multi-university research study that Springfield College undertook to quantify alumni perceptions and attitudes regarding the university they attended, their experience as a student, and their experience as an alumnus/a. The study was conducted primarily using email and internet technology. The Parent Attitude Study is modeled after the Alumni Attitude Study, and Springfield College was the first institution to use the instrument.
A demographic overview of the respondents
- 1,374 alumni and 215 parents responded to the survey, approximately a 9% response rate for both groups.
- Respondents were representative of geographic, gender, age and academic distributions.
Overall opinion of the college
- 96% of parents and 94% of alumni believed their decision to attend Springfield College was either “good” or “great.”
- 93% of alumni and 96% of parents have an “excellent” or “good” opinion of the College.
- 99% of parents and 91% of alumni promote the College on a regular basis.
Alumni and parent loyalty
- Alumni as a whole were “loyal” or “very loyal” to the institution, while younger alumni had a stronger connection to their school, academic program, faculty members, or student organization. Parents were “loyal” to the institution and were “very loyal” to academics programs, faculty members, and athletics.
Academic and career preparation
- Alumni rated “academics and classes” and “skills and training for a career” as two of the most important areas to their student experience, as did parents. In both areas for both groups, Springfield College had room for improvement, something that was particularly evident with more recent alumni.
- 83% of parents read “all” or “some” of Triangle magazine, and have a favorable opinion of the magazine, as do alumni. Younger alumni are looking for increased communication through “new media” avenues, such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs, video, etc.
Involvement in the future success of Springfield College
- Alumni and parents both felt it was “very important” or “critical” to be involved in doing things that “advance Springfield College” (recruiting, mentoring, identifying job opportunities). Both groups felt Springfield College has the opportunity to provide a greater number of quality opportunities in these areas.
The need for philanthropic support
- An overwhelming majority of alumni and parents believes Springfield College has a “moderate” or “high” level of need for philanthropic support, and believes that Springfield College will use those resources wisely.
- Both alumni and parents identified “paying for college” as a reason why they “do not give” or “do not give more.”
A smaller group representing the offices of Development, Alumni Relations, Marketing and Communications, Student Affairs, Athletics, Enrollment Management, and Academic Affairs met regularly during the past summer to develop a plan that addresses the outcomes of Alumni & Parent Attitude Study findings. That plan includes:
Enrollment: Creating partnerships across the campus that support recruiting goals and provide meaningful engagement opportunities for alumni and families.
Career Services: Strategically integrating career-related content into all areas of campus activity, and raising campus awareness of services.
Communications: Continuing to develop an effective communication strategy that integrates all communication vehicles, while developing creative and strategic content that meets consumer needs and expectations.
Advancement: Creating a campus culture that recognizes the importance of and need for philanthropic support.
Samples of upcoming initiatives to address the Alumni & Parent Attitude Study findings include:
- Engaging alumni and parents to have a role at all on-campus Admissions Open Houses.
- Recognizing alumni and parents who assist in helping students decide to attend Springfield College.
- Establishing an Alumni Career Speaker Series and engaging alumni and parents as career resources for internships, mentors, and employment.
- Providing information about diverse areas of need for philanthropic support (i.e. Athletics, East Campus, etc.).
- Engaging alumni and parent volunteers and donors as “insiders” for Springfield College.
- Expanding and enhance our social media footprint.
- Regularly evaluating various communication channels to measure reach and effectiveness.
- Evaluating the impact of our initiatives by conducting another Attitude Study in 2015.
We thank all who participate and expressed interest in this important topic. Expect to hear more on this in the future as we seek to provide the best service to these important constituencies.