November 16, 2011
A recently released national survey shows that graduates of Knox College and other residential liberal arts colleges give their college experience higher marks than do graduates of private or public universities. The new study was commissioned by the Annapolis Group, a consortium that includes Knox and 130 of America's leading liberal arts colleges.The survey found that, compared to larger public or private universities, residential liberal arts colleges got higher marks from graduates for:
The survey found that graduates of residential liberal arts colleges also were more likely to rate their college experience as "excellent," and more likely to graduate in four years, giving them a head start on their careers.
Among the study's career-related findings:
Conducted by higher education consulting firm Hardwick Day, the study is based on a total of 2,700 telephone interviews made in 2002 and again in the summer of 2011. It is one of only a few studies that explore the lasting effects of college in such areas as career preparation and advancement, skill development, development of personal and professional values and attitude, and community involvement.
Among other key findings in this year's survey:
"On virtually all measures known to contribute to positive outcomes, graduates of liberal arts colleges rate their experience more highly than do graduates of private or public universities," said James H. Day, a principal of Hardwick Day and director of the study.
The study found that liberal arts college graduates are more likely than graduates of both private and public universities to give their college a high effectiveness rating for helping them learn to write and speak effectively.
The study found also that liberal arts college graduates are more likely than alumni of other types of institutions to say all of the following about their college experience:
Alumni of all three types of institutions - liberal arts colleges, private universities, and flagship public universities - were more likely in the 2011 survey to rate their overall experience as "excellent" than in the 2002 survey, Day noted. The increase was particularly pronounced for graduates of liberal arts colleges, who went from 66 to 77 percent, and public universities, who went from 41 to 53 percent.
The Annapolis Group, a non-profit alliance of 130 residential liberal arts colleges, commissioned the survey to determine how its graduates perceive the effectiveness of its member institutions in comparison to others.