The demand for evidence of student success after graduation has never been higher. Prospective students and families are asking “what can I do with this major?,” “how soon will I have a job after graduation?,” “what kind of graduate schools will I get into?,” and “what difference will my U of I degree make?” Accreditors are requiring graduation outcomes data as a measure of academic program and institutional quality. Federal and state governments demand more information about the value of a college education, tying that evidence to calls for “students’ right to know” and a College Scorecard that can be used to help students make college comparisons, and potentially even be tied to funding of higher education institutions. The stakes are high for universities to know where their students go after graduation.
The Illini Success initiative at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was spear-headed by The Career Center, but quickly grew into a campus-wide effort. The project has support from the Office of the Provost, the Division of Management Information, the Office of the Registrar, the Institutional Review Board Office, the Council of Undergraduate Deans and all undergraduate Colleges, the Career Services Council, and many more partners.
Campus-wide graduate outcomes data were first collected for the August 2014 graduation cohort. Graduates from all undergraduate degree programs were invited to participate. Since then, a number of graduate degree programs across campus have also joined the project.
Why the Involvement of Career Services?
On the University of Illinois campus, you will often see career services professionals out front in the Illini Success initiative, collecting survey responses and sharing results. Why is this?
- Career services professional associations (e.g., the National Association of Colleges and Employers) have been at the forefront of creating national standards for first destination surveys.
- Your Illinois career services professionals want Illinois graduates to know that WE CARE about where you go next – in fact, it is a key part of our business! Have you landed a great job or did you get accepted into the graduate program of your dreams? We want to congratulate you on your success. Are you graduating and unsure of your next steps? Tell us on the survey, and come knock on our doors to use the resources that your University has to offer.
Want to Share Your Story?
Are you an Illinois graduate who wants to contribute to the Illini Success initiative? We are currently gathering input from graduates of the May 2021, August 2021, and December 2021 classes. Find out how to Share Your Story.
To learn more about the Illini Success initiative, contact the Illini Success team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 217-333-0820.