Despite moving up two places in the U.S. News and World Report standings this year, St. Thomas did not make the cut for The Alumni Factor rankings, which were published for the first time this year.
To establish its results, The Alumni Factor surveyed graduates from colleges and universities across the nation. It then rated the schools with the highest alumni response rate based on career success, financial situations and happiness in their post-college lives.
Several Minnesota colleges, including the University of Minnesota, Macalester College, St. Olaf, and Carleton College, made the list of 177 schools with the most successful alumni.
The Alumni Center at St. Thomas on Sept. 13, 2012. Members in the building are working on improving alumni relations and success through a survey called Alumni Attitudes. (Gabrielle Martinson/TommieMedia)
Although St. Thomas did not receive a place on The Alumni Factor’s list, Rachel Wobschall, executive director of Alumni and Constituent Relations at St. Thomas, said the university is working on its own alumni studies.
In February 2012, St. Thomas conducted its first Alumni Attitude Study. The study surveyed alumni by email to collect data on how alumni feel about St. Thomas, how well they think St. Thomas prepared them for life after graduation and the status of their relationship with the university.
Wobschall said the study results are helping the university recognize areas that need improvement.
“What we’ve learned from this is that we are doing well, but we would like to do more,” Wobschall said. “We’re trying to figure out what areas we need to do more in, focus on that, and then in three years we will do this again and hope we have improved.”
St. Thomas will conduct the Alumni Attitude Study once every three years and wants to stack the St. Thomas results up against other colleges and universities in Minnesota, Wobschall said.
Some students like freshman Paddy Halloran, said they believe that St. Thomas students go on to be successful alumni after graduation.
“I think (the alumni) are very successful, that’s actually one of the reasons I chose St. Thomas,” Halloran said. “I knew a lot of people, friends and family, who had gone here previously and really liked it and had good things to say about it.”
Sophomore Kathleen Connolly said she has heard St. Thomas graduates are in high demand compared to other schools in the area.
“I’ve heard from business (professionals) that they are more interested in St. Thomas grads than the U of M,” Connolly said.
Freshman Claire Winzenburg said students should not solely rely on The Alumni Factor rankings.
“I would have been curious (to see the rankings), but it definitely wouldn’t have been the only factor in deciding what college to go to,” freshman Claire Winzenburg said.
Gabrielle Martinson can be reached at email@example.com.