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Alumni Survey Reflects Satisfaction with Bethel Preparation

Bethel’s annual survey of recent alumni highlights their post-graduation activities and their reflections on their Bethel experience. (Photo Credit: Kelsey Sagen ’16)

An annual survey of College of Arts & Sciences alumni who graduated one year, five years, and 10 years ago reports low unemployment and high satisfaction with job preparation, among other significant results. Bethel alumni who graduated in 2013, 2009, and 2005 were asked about their educational preparation, jobs, church attendance, volunteerism, and more. Primary results indicated:

  • Low unemployment. 0.24% for 1-year, 1.1% for 5-year, and 0.6% for 10-year alumni.
  • Job satisfaction. 87% for 1-year, 88% for 5-year, and 89% for 10-year alumni.
  • Job Preparation. 88% of 1-year, 89% of 5-year, and 84% of 10-year alumni said they were at least somewhat satisfied with how their Bethel education prepared them for their current position. The majority were satisfied or very satisfied.  
  • Preparation for Further Education. For those who have continued their education, 88% for 1-year, 74% for 5-year, and 75% for 10-year alumni report being satisfied or very satisfied with their Bethel preparation for graduate school, medical school, etc.         
  • Involvement in Faith Community. 85% of 1-year, 80% of 5-year, and 88% of 10-year alumni are involved in a faith community.
  • High Volunteerism. 68% of 1-year, 69% of 5-year, and 78% of 10-year alumni volunteered their time to a religious organization compared to 46% nationally (Gallup Poll results).
  • Leadership. 59% of 1-year, 68% of 5-year, and 75% of 10-year alumni are involved in a leadership role in their work, school, church, or community.
  • Low Divorce Rate. Of those who have been married, 0.9% of 5-year alumni and 4.1% of 10-year alumni have been divorced. 

Specific responses about their Bethel education showed that alumni rated “learner” as the top core value that their Bethel experience helped them develop, followed by “Christ-follower,” “truth seeker,” and “character builder.” Alumni were also consistently satisfied with their overall educational experience in their major and the integration of faith in their major courses.

The survey allowed for open-ended responses to two questions, highlighted below along with some sample responses to each:

What did you like best about your major?

  • The support that I got from all the professors was phenomenal and holistic…It felt more like a family than just a department or major.
  • The professors were amazing. They knew the material very well and were able to teach it in an engaging manner.
  • I loved the professors and the strategic way we approached the field. I enjoyed doing real-world case studies that really prepped me for my full-time job.
  • I appreciated the connections to many different culture groups and availability to them.
  • I enjoyed the small classes and getting to know professors on a deeper level because they invested time and energy into each student.
  • The faculty were incredibly invested in my learning experience and personal growth. I felt the department was a safe space to explore issues without judgment or indoctrination.
  • The professors all carried great resumes of outside experience so that their teaching was experience-based, not just academic-based.
  • It's difficult for me to separate who I am today from how Bethel shaped me.

What other comments do you have about your Bethel experience?

  • I loved feeling that I was part of a community that really cared about each other and that really cared about seeking God.
  • I am pleased to hear about the addition of the Cultural Connection Center finally being established. It has been a long time coming in the story of Bethel.    
  • My only regret during my time at Bethel is not engaging more deeply with the Reconciliation department…I'm excited about the safe space being created for marginalized communities within Bethel and for important, difficult conversations to happen.
  • My favorite part about Bethel was working in the Dining Center. I found a family community there that really encouraged me through my college career in school, community, and my faith.
  • It was the best four years of my life—the education, and more importantly, the community I developed, had a permanent impact on my life.
  • I would recommend Bethel a thousand times over for any potential student, and I would relive my college years in a heartbeat!
  • I love Bethel. I have since diverged on my political and religious stances from the Bethel covenant somewhat, but I also know that Bethel gave me all the tools to challenge my own beliefs and not walk through life blindly believing everything I hear.
  • I found Bethel to be a great launching pad for my future—both career-wise, and also as an adult who is confident in her faith, her relationships, and her talents.


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