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Office of Institutional Research and Assessment

University of South Carolina Columbia
1999 Alumni Survey

A total of 381 USC Columbia alumni (35% of the 1995-1996 graduates surveyed) completed the Alumni Survey in 1999.

The Alumni Survey is distributed every two years to a 50% sample of USC undergraduate alumni who graduated three years before the survey is administered. The Alumni Survey is administered in part to fulfill the requirements of Act 255 of 1992 and Act 359 of 1996, which mandate that public institutions of higher learning report placement data and educational satisfaction attitudes of graduates.

Indicate how satisfied you are with various aspects of your undergraduate experience at USC.
           
 

Very Satisfied

Satisfied

Somewhat Satisfied

Dissatisfied

Very Dissatisfied

           

Your major program study

34.4%

54.1%

8.9%

2.1%

.5%

           
Instruction in your major

31.2%

50.4%

15.2%

2.4%

.8%

           

Your general education program of study (non major degree requirements)

17.1%

63.3%

16.5%

2.6%

.5%

           
Instruction in your general education program

15.5%

64.3%

18.1%

2.1%

--

           

Your overall academic experience

27.3%

62.7%

7.6%

1.8%

.5%




Indicate how frequently you are involved in each of the following types of activities.

 

Weekly

Monthly

Annually

Less Often

Never

Career-related advanced education or training

22.6%

22.3%

28.9%

13.1%

13.1%

"Lifelong learning"/personal enrichment studies outside your career area(s)

13.9%

17.6%

25.7%

28.3%

14.4%

Professional or service organization

15.5%

23.1%

28.9%

16.8%

15.7%

Volunteer, public or community service

13.1%

24.4%

26.0%

24.9%

11.5%

Social/recreational organization

27.3%

27.8%

15.2%

17.3%

12.3%

Support or participation in the arts

8.9%

26.0%

25.7%

21.3%

18.1%

 

Indicate the extent to which your college experience influenced your participation in the activities listed above.

       

18.1% - Strongly

35.7% - Moderately

27.3% - Somewhat

18.9% - Not At All




Please check the best response in the following statement: Since leaving college, I have voted in, all, some, a few, or none of the elections.

         

34.9% - All

32.5% - Most

13.1% - Some

5.2% - A Few

14.2% - None




How long did it take you to obtain your first full-time job after graduation?

   

27.8% - Obtained job prior to leaving college

8.1% - 7-12 months

13.6% - Less than one month

5.0% - More than twelve months

23.6% - 1-3 months

2.1% - Have not obtained a full-time job

12.1% - 4-6 months

7.6% - Did not seek a full-time job




Please indicate the relationship between your undergraduate major and your work, for both your first job after graduation and, if applicable, your current position.

Highly Related

Moderately Related

Slightly Related

Not Related

Never/Not Employed

           

First job after graduation

44.4%

17.6%

10.0%

23.4%

4.7%

           

Current position

44.4%

19.7%

10.2%

19.2%

6.6%




Please indicate the location of your first job after graduation and your current position.

 

South Carolina

Southeast, outside of South Carolina

Outside the Southeast

Never/Not Employed

         

First job after graduation

66.7%

16.3%

12.6%

4.5%

         

Current position

58.5%

19.4%

16.8%

5.2%




Indicate which of the following best describes your activities six months after graduation from USC and currently.
 

Six months after graduation

Currently

     

Continuing your education full-time

5.5%

5.2%

     

Employed and continuing your education

14.2%

18.4%

     

Employed full-time

51.4%

45.7%

     

Employed part-time

6.8%

1.0%

     

Self-employed (farm or business owner, etc.)

3.1%

5.2%

     

Serving in the Armed Forces

2.6%

2.1%

     

Caring for a home/family

2.1%

1.8%

     

Unemployed - seeking work

2.1%

.8%

     

Unemployed - not seeking work

1.3%

.3%

     

Other

.3%

.3%

     

Employed full-time and Caring for a home/family

9.2%

17.1%

     

Employed and continuing your education and Caring for a home/family

1.0%

1.8%

     

Employed part-time and Caring for a home/family

.3%

.3%

 

As they relate to your current employment or post-graduate education, how well did your experiences at USC Columbia prepare you in the following ways?
 

Excellent

Good

Adequate

Inadequate

Not Sure

Oral communication

26.2%

46.5%

19.9%

5.2%

2.1%

           

Use of computers and technology

17.6%

36.5%

28.3%

15.7%

1.8%

           

Math and data interpretation

14.7%

37.3%

34.1%

10.0%

3.9%

           

Problem solving

24.7%

48.0%

19.9%

4.5%

2.9%

           

Workplace diversity

29.1%

39.1%

19.9%

8.4%

3.4%

           

Interpersonal skills

32.0%

45.7%

15.2%

4.5%

2.4%




Did the knowledge and skills you acquired at USC prepare you for the job market?
     

69.8% - Yes

16.0% - No

14.2% - Not Sure




Rate the overall quality of your USC education.
       

47.5% - Above Average

48.6% - Average

3.9% - Below Average

0% - Not Sure




What is your ethnic background?
   
1.0% - American Indian/Alaskan Native 1.0% - Hispanic
   
2.9% - Asian or Pacific Islander 2.1% - Multi-racial
   
10.0% - Black/African American 81.9% - White/Non-Hispanic
   
1.0% - No Response  
 
What is your gender?
 
64.8% - Female
 
34.9% - Male
 
.3% - No Response


Comments:
"I felt the required computer classes were absolutely useless to what I use a computer for in the real world. You probably have extensive training using the Internet now — if not hopefully you will soon — because this type of training would actually be beneficial."

"Answers to Question #1 are given in relation to courses given and taught University-wide. I was an honors student in SCHC and took approximately 50-60% of my courses through SCHC. I am extremely satisfied with the education I received through SCHC, specifically with the course offerings and instruction. Outside of the SCHC experience, I can only think of a couple of courses that I enjoyed or was impressed with the instruction, both in my major and in my general education courses. Outside of these 2-3 courses, I was satisfied to disappointed. It seems a shame that on the average I only found enthusiasm for the subject matter and the art of teaching in my Honors courses."

"I wish there would have been a class available about "life." How to invest, what insurance is needed, marrying or not, and how to make friends after college — things like this would be beneficial."

"I think it would be important to know the major when asking. Wouldn’t it be valuable to know who had a positive or negative experience?"

"I do not feel most of my professors had a true love of teaching. Most acted as is they despised undergraduate students. The work was extremely too heavy in a lot of my general education classes — we had to read too much! I do not feel my major classes prepared me fully for the workforce. I took a lot of unnecessary courses and wasted a lot of money. What’s with how expensive graduate courses are? What’s with an attendance policy? Aren’t I paying to go to school? I’m an adult — I can make the decision to attend class or not."

"I am very interested in Law School at USC; but only if offered at night or after 4:00 P.M."

"USC did a good job of educating me. If some of the answers seem to contradict this I would like to clarify. I entered college knowing full well what I wanted in a career; I knew professionals in the field for whom I volunteered. So I knew beforehand what to expect. So as far as preparing me for the job market and social activities and extended career training and "interpersonal skills" (God what a PC expression) I felt I already had these. Consequently, I don’t attribute these characters to my college experience. Rather they were experiences I had while I was attending college."

"Not specific job-related/business preparation. I was a liberal arts major and believe if lab sciences are required, USC should do its graduates the favor or also requiring or highly suggesting basic business courses."

"One of the most important things about my USC education was the sense of professionalism that the instructors tried to instill in the students. This may seem to be an intangible thing, but it carried over into all aspects of my class work and to my professional life beyond USC."

"I really enjoyed and value my experience at USC. My professors and academic counselors were fabulous. Financial counseling is another story. I feel that more emphasis on 6-year/work-during-school programs would be better than emphasis on borrowing from student loan programs."

"I feel that the course work related to my major was better than average. I was a non-traditional full-time student, married and living off-campus. I was never encouraged to find career instruction, never encouraged to be part of an organization, professional or otherwise, and I feel that development outside of the classroom was sorely neglected."

"If the University really wants to help its students, it should teach a Life 101class that teaches:

    1. How to manage stress
    2. How to do taxes
    3. How to buy a car or house
    4. How to invest in your 401K
    5. How expensive life really is — how to live within your means"

"Most of the skills I learned for the workplace came from the college experience of organizations — not class."

"My major did not help me in a career. I wish someone from my major department had called to see if I was employed and how they could help."

"Tuition continues to rise at an alarming rate. The extra charges are unnecessary (i.e. health). I never go to the clinic at school, but yet I pay for the service."

"Loved it…miss it every day."

"As an adult college student, I felt that the required health class was expensive and time consuming. More time needs to be spent on courses that relate directly to the degree being pursued."

"I am extremely satisfied with the education and experience of attending USC. I have been well prepared for life and career by the time I spent at USC. I have been recommending USC to my younger relatives that are trying to decide what to do after high school graduation."

"Was sometimes disappointed with USC general education courses due to large size and lack of other sudents’ interest/participation. For these reasons, Honors College courses were excellent."