Westmont Magazine Surveying Alumni Attitudes
Periodically producing an alumni directory allows Westmont to survey former students on a variety of issues. Last year’s directory mailing included two college surveys.
The first sought information about graduate school, careers, and income levels. Out of the 3,017 respondents, 81 percent did additional academic work after Westmont, 65 percent on the master’s level and 25 percent pursuing doctorates.
Unemployment among alums is low: only two percent were seeking jobs while 80 percent hold full- or part-time positions. Another 7.3 percent have retired, and 8.8 percent are happily unemployed. Professionals comprise 38 percent of those working, with 14 percent self-employed and 8 percent in top management positions.
The survey sought to answer a question parents often ask: Can a liberal arts education prepare students for a job? Alumni said, “Yes!”
A total of 62 percent reported that their liberal arts education related directly to their career, with 25 percent finding it somewhat related. Also, 35 percent said their major related directly to their career, with 34 percent seeing it as somewhat related.
Income levels varied with 14 percent reporting earnings below $25,000, 35 percent between $25,000 and $29,000, 22 percent between $50,000 and $69,000, and 28 percent over $70,000.
Would alums choose Westmont again? While 77 percent said yes, 25 percent would change their major.
The second survey covered college publications and alumni programs, and 2,101 people responded. “La Paz” rated excellent with 39 percent, good with 55 percent, and fair with 6 percent.
Only 33 percent wanted to attend a continuing education summer camp program on campus. They planned to come as single adults (69 percent) and preferred spiritual activities similar to a Christian conference center (75 percent).
Alumni chapter events have drawn 24 percent of the respondents, and 42 percent have attended Homecoming. Distance detered 40 percent of those who stayed away, as did busy schedules (19 percent). Most made a gift to Westmont in the last five years (61 percent), with the average amount below $100 (84 percent). Reasons for not giving included tight finances (61 percent) and support for other causes (24 percent).