Graduate Student and Alumni/ae Survey Results #1

SurveyFrom March to May 2012, the Office of Institutional Research and Planning (IRP) conducted a web-based survey of all current graduate students, as well as graduate student alumni/ae. This is the first in a brief series of reports on what we’ve learned.

Among alumni, 101 of the 627 emailed individuals completed the survey, a response rate of 16%. Among current graduate students, 80 of the 165 emailed individuals completed the survey, a response rate of 48%. The combined response rate was 23%.

Overall Satisfaction

Generally speaking, graduate alumni/ae and students are happy with their graduate study at Trinity. This conclusion is supported by 87% who report that they would recommend the program to others and 84% who say that the tuition they paid was worth the investment. Some respondents describe the program as having provided them with one of their most rewarding educational experiences. These respondents often mention specific faculty and classes as having had a significant impact on them.

The couple of years pursuing my Masters at Trinity College had been the highlight of my time here, hands down! I immensely enjoyed the rigors of what academic discipline I garnered from being a graduate student s here. The professors I had were all engaging, encouraging, and helpful. It truly was an experience of a lifetime, and I am grateful for the invaluable opportunity Trinity offered me. THANK YOU!

Reasons for pursuing graduate study at Trinity mirror results from the previous survey in 2000 and national statistics. Despite difficult economic circumstances in recent years, the results remain somewhat surprising:

  • 68% cite personal enrichment as the most important reason for pursuing graduate study.
  • 52% cite professional development as the most important reason.
  • Others cite résumé enhancement (28%), employment benefits (27%), or preparation for an additional advanced degree (37%) as their chief reason for earning a master’s degree at Trinity.

Reasons for Choosing Trinity

When asked what attracted them to Trinity, students and alumni/ae point to the reputation of the College and its programs and to the availability of part-time study.

Attraction to TrinityFurther, respondents give very high marks to the quality of instruction in all graduate programs.

Quality of Instruction

Trinity’s faculty has always been amazing. Not only are they knowledgeable and vastly interested in their subjects, but they are willing to help in any way if the need arises.

The quality of instruction at Trinity has been impressively and consistently superior to that of the other institutions with which I’ve been associated.

Beyond the Hype

While the overall results of the survey are strongly positive, students and alumni/ae indicated areas that need attention and improvement. In the interest of transparency, we will report on these results in the near future and comment on steps that are being taken to address such challenges. As always, we invite comment and discussion.

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About William Barnett

Dean of Graduate Studies, Trinity College, Hartford, CT
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