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Alumni Attitudes Survey (Text-Only)

In May 2015 the Alumni Association commissioned a survey to assess the attitudes, behaviors, and interest​s​ of our alumni population. Below is an infographic highlighting the results.

Overall Opinions & Attitudes

Student Experience

  • 92% of alumni are very or somewhat satisfied with the overall experience they had a student at SCU

Alumni Want to Be MORE Connected

  • 39% want more connection
  • 59% want to stay the same
  • 2% want less connection

Aspects of SCU Alumni Most Identify With

  • SCU as a whole: 42% undergraduate, 27% graduate
  • Other: 24% undergraduate, 8% graduate *Examples include sports team, student group, residents hall/dorm, center/institute
  • Department: 29% undergraduate, 13% graduate
  • School or college: 8% undergraduate, 22% graduate

 SCU Has Alumni “Mindshare”

  • 82% say their current opinion of the University is excellent or good
  • 46% of alumni say they mentioned SCU within the past week
  • 71% of alumni feel a lifelong relationship with SCU is worth maintain

Quote from the Class of 2004: “My time spent at SCU was the best time of my life. The relationships that were built will never be broken and always cherished.”

Quote from the Class of 2010: “I have become very successful in my career due to my academic background and good morals and a sense of community that I established at SCU.”

Quote from the Class of 1975: “SCU is an excellent source of enrichment both for young people starting out in life and alumni who benefit from an enduring positive influence.”

The Value of Alumni Programming & Events

Alumni who feel they are still part of the SCU community are 2-3 times more likely to:

  • Take great pride in their SCU degree
  • Recommend SCU to a prospective student
  • Have an excellent overall opinion of the University today
  • Be donors
  • Say SCU is one of the most important affiliations in life today
  • Feel that a lifelong relationship with SCU is worth maintaining
  • Feel SCU values its alumni
  • Feel an emotional connection to SCU
  • Feel SCU is part of who they are

Only a third (35%) of alumni feel they are still part of the SCU community.

Alumni Engagement & Interests

Done in the Past Year or So

  • 63% read Santa Clara Magazine
  • 36% visited campus
  • 31% wore SCU apparel
  • 30% visited SCU website
  • 26% recommended SCU to a prospective student
  • 14% engaged with SCU social media
  • 14% attended a local event
  • 5% honked or waived at someone wearing SCU gear
  • 5% volunteered
  • 3% hired/got hired by a Bronco
  • 2% submitted a class note

Big Opportunity: Class Notes

  • Only 2% of alumni self report submitting a class note in the past year.

Interests in Ways to Stay Involved:

  • Informed about campus news: 88% somewhat interested, 28% very interested
  • Socializing or networking: 75% somewhat interested, 22% very interested
  • Intellectually focused events: 75% somewhat interested, 24% very interested
  • Podcasts: 64% somewhat interested, 20% very interested
  • Community Service projects: 59% somewhat interested, 16% very interested
  • Volunteering: 53% somewhat interested, 13% very interested
  • Career/professional development: 55% somewhat interested, 19% very interested
  • Athletic events: 49% somewhat interested, 11% very interested
  • Spiritual events: 42% somewhat interested, 10% very interested

Quote from a member of the Class of 2013: “I always like reading about weddings that are happening in the Mission. I met my boyfriend at SCU, and I love reading about other peoples’ love stories from SCU as well!”

Attitudes about Programs & Activities

  • Program Diversity is Key
  • “One Size Doesn’t Fit All”
  • No single form of involvement has universal appeal, but half of all alumni express great interest in staying involved in some way
  • Alumni feel more engaged if they live in an area with an active regional alumni chapter

Marketing & Communications

Communication Channels Are Very Generational

  • Older alumni (60 and older) say that Santa Clara Magazine is their main source of news and information, whereas younger alumni (under 40) get their news primarily from friends and social media
  • 49% choose email newsletter as their preferred communication channel for events and time-sensitive info

Social Media

Social Media is a positive driver to increase alumni engagement, including:

  • Getting together in person with other alumni
  • Attending Grand Reunion Weekend
  • Attending SCU events in their local area
  • Visiting Campus

Quote from a member of the Class of 2009: “I would like to see stronger use of social media platforms or other virtual communication so that alumni like me might be able to participate, even from afar.” 

There Is a Big Opportunity to Grow Our Social Channels

  • 48% of alumni say they use social media to interact with other SCU alumni
  • 63% of alumni are unaware of the Alumni Association’s Facebook page

Career Programs

Alumni who are interested in Career and Professional Development services are:

  • 62% are most interested in career networking opportunities
  • 38% Dealing with a career transition or building their personal brand
  • 31% are interested in having a positive online presence for their career
  • 30% Seeking guidance during their job search
  • 28% Updating their resume
  • 22% Looking for job interviewing tips

55% of alumni want career and professional development services and events from SCU

  • Not surprisingly, young alumni (under 40) are the most interested in career and professional development offerings

Desired Affinity Groups

Possible interest-based affinity groups include:

  • LGBTQ
  • Older singles
  • Widowers

Possible professional affinity groups include:

  • Teachers
  • Real Estate
  • Technology
  • Finance 

Quote from member of the Class of 2005: “LGBT focused alumni groups would be great!”

Quote from member of the Class of 2009: “The most important resource for me is building professional connections with alumni.”

Quote from member of the Class of 2010: “I would like SCU to offer in-person networking opportunities for alumni in similar career fields.”

Quote from member of the Class of 1972: “Opportunities for older singles to meet other singles!”

64% of alumni are interested in podcasts to stay involved with SCU

Visiting Campus

  • 36% of alumni visited campus in the past year or so
  • Quote from member of the Class of 2009: “Taking this survey makes me want to visit the campus!”
  • 6/10 alumni who come back to campus in the past year or so say they just walked around and enjoyed campus
  • Quote from member of the Class of 1990: “I still visit campus, and it is simply beautiful and welcoming.”

IMAGE: Mission Church

How Well Are We Doing: Benchmarking Against Other Schools

*Since not all schools have a graduate program, we’ve only compared undergraduate data. 

Given the 100 schools we had comparable survey data, we identified 21 schools to benchmark against that were:

  • Mix of peer and aspirational
  • Mix of large and small
  • Mix of private and public
  • A few Jesuit Schools
  • A few schools we compete with for admissions

Schools included in the benchmarking assessment include:

  • Binghamton University
  • Creighton University
  • Hawai’i Pacific University
  • McGill University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • New York University
  • Penn State University
  • Regis University
  • Stanford University
  • Trent University
  • University of Alaska Anchorage
  • University of California Berkeley
  • University of California Davis
  • University of Colorado
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of South Florida
  • University of Virginia
  • Wake Forest University
  • Willamette University 

When it comes to alumni feelings the following is how we compare to our peers:

  • Feels the university values its alumni
    • Peer school range: 57-90%, SCU: 85%
  • Feels a lifelong relationship with the University is worth maintaining
    • Peer school range: 48-82%, SCU: 76%
  • Feels the University is part of who you are
    • Peer school range: 46-85%, SCU: 73%
  • Feels an emotional connection to the University
    • Peer school range: 45-87%, SCU: 71%
  • Very satisfied with their student experience
    • Peer school range: 40-86%, SCU: 69%
  • Takes great pride in their degree
    • Peer school range: 45-87%, SCU: 65%
  • Still feel part of the community
    • Peer school range: 20-715, SCU: 42%

When it comes to alumni programs, the following is how we compare to our peers:

  • Overall
    • Peer school range: 27-73%, SCU: 68%
  • Campus News
    • Peer school range: 51-91%, SCU: 83%
  • Athletics
    • Peer school range: 33-79%, SCU: 73%
  • Intellectual
    • Peer school range: 40-72%, SCU: 68%
  • Socialize
    • Peer school range: 43-73%, SCU: 68%
  • Volunteer
    • Peer school range: 30-64%, SCU: 62%
  • Career
    • Peer school range: 23-71%, SCU: 55%

How We Can Do Better

When asked How SCU Fits in Your Life Today, alumni said:

  • One of the most important affiliations: 11%
  • Other affiliations are more important: 57%
  • Not important: 32%

Communications

Alumni Want MORE Communications

  • 25% of alumni say they don’t receive enough information about SCU events in their local area, while 3% say they receive too much

Biggest Challenge: Awareness

  • 55% of alumni who live in an area with an active chapter are unaware of the chapter

Feedback on Amount of Information Received from SCU:

  • Admissions
    • 8% too much, 15% not enough
  • Fundraising
    • 23% too much, 3% not enough
  • School news
    • 2% too much, 23% not enough
  • Alumni
    • 3% too much, 21% not enough
  • Involvement
    • 5% too much, 21% not enough
  • Students
    • 5% too much, 11% not enough
  • Athletics
    • 8% too much, 11% not enough
  • Local events
    • 3% too much, 25% not enough
  • Student clubs
    • 3% too much, 16% not enough
  • Campus events
    • 4% too much, 14% not enough
  • Research
    • 4% too much, 23% not enough

Quotes from alumni on communication:

  • “I feel like we need to do a better job of promoting alumni events in local areas.”
  • “Please reach out to alumni more about ways to stay engaged with the University – events, activities, volunteering, etc.”
  • “I would love to be contacted more often about the events, etc., listed in the survey.”

What We Like to Hear:

Quote from member of the Class of 1986: “Santa Clara is a special place. Strong academics, amazing people, amazing community. Most important – you become a Bronco for life. The connection alumni have with the university is unmatched. Santa Clara is family.”

Quote from member of the Class of 1992: “SCU was the perfect undergraduate home for me – it broadened me academically, culturally, athletically, and socially. The campus is so rich in history and Jesuit tradition, while sitting in the heart of Silicon Valley. I chose SCU over an Ivy League option, and as I look back at the education I received, the relationship formed, and the path to happiness in life that SCU gave me, I know SCU was the school for me.”

Quote from member of the Class of 2004: “SCU provided me with a solid education and numerous opportunities to learn, grow and challenge myself outside of the classroom, which has shaped me both personally and professionally. I left SCU with much more than a degree. The relationships I made at SCU, in through my subsequent involvement via alumni activities, are invaluable and I still maintain a close connection with some students, faculty and staff.”

Survey Respondent Demographics

Age

  • Under 30: 10%
  • 30-39: 17%
  • 40-49: 17%
  • 50-59: 20%
  • 60-69: 15%
  • 70 and older: 7%
  • No answer: 15%

Religious Preference

  • Catholic: 46%
  • Protestant: 13%
  • Other Christian: 8%
  • Jewish: 3%
  • Hindu: 3%
  • Buddhist: 2%
  • Muslin: 0%
  • Other (specify): 3%
  • None: 17%
  • Prefer not to say: 6%

Racial or Ethnic Group Respondent Identifies with the Most:

  • White/Caucasian: 69%
  • Asian/Asian-American/Pacific Islander: 13%
  • Latino/Chicano/Hispanic: 6%
  • Mixed ethnicity: 3%
  • Black/African-American: 2%
  • Middle Eastern: 1%
  • Native American/American Indian: 0%
  • Other: 0%
  • Prefer not to say: 6%

Degree

  • Undergraduate/dual: 54%
  • Graduate-only: 46%

School or College

  • Arts and Sciences: 34%
  • Business: 33%
  • Law: 14%
  • Engineering: 12%
  • Education and Counseling Psychology: 4%
  • Jesuit Theology: 2%
  • Pastoral Ministries: 0%

Year of Earliest Degree

  • 2005-2014: 26%
  • 1995-2004: 23%
  • 1985-1994: 22%
  • 1975-1984: 19%
  • 1960-1974: 11%

Gender

  • Male: 57%
  • Female: 43%

Region

  • Local (driving distance): 57%
  • Non-local active chapter: 33%
  • Elsewhere: 10%

Made a gift to any SCU designation in the past five years?

  • Yes: 25%
  • No: 75%

About the Survey:

The Santa Clara University Alumni Association conducted a survey online from April 19-May 23, 2015, with a random sample of SCU undergraduate degree holders from 1960-2014 and graduate degree holders from 1965-2014.

1,817 alumni participated in the survey, which was an approximately 23 percent response rate.

For additional information about the survey, please contact Melissa Brotherton at mbrotherton@scu.edu

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