What Our Graduates Have to Say!
With close to one thousand graduates a year, California Coast University looks to our graduates to tell us about their CCU experiences – what they value; what they like about our programs; and what they would like to see us change. To do this, and to meet one of our accreditation requirements, we send out a 15 question survey to our graduates at the conclusion of their programs. We gather the data and use the information to help shape and improve our programs as we move forward. For the survey, we ask graduates:
- If the program contained comprehensive and current information relevant to the graduate’s field of study.
- Specific questions regarding program objectives and general education subjects.
- Whether the graduate achieved the goals they had when they started the program.
- Whether the graduate would recommend CCU degree programs to a friend.
- Whether the graduate requested assistance from the University during their enrollment, and if the questions or concerns were answered adequately and in a timely manner.
- If the graduate was satisfied with their studies.
- If the graduate intends to pursue an additional degree in the future, and if they would consider CCU to pursue the degree.
As a final part of the survey, graduates are asked to reveal important information on how they view the value of their programs; and are given an opportunity to provide any additional experiences or comments on CCU. The final questions reveal interesting and valuable insights:
Question 14: “How do you view the value of your degree personally and professionally?”
Some of the interesting findings and general themes graduates have reported to us regarding the value in obtaining their degrees have included the following:
- Many of our graduates tell us that completing a degree has been a lifelong goal of theirs.
- They report a high level of gratitude that the educational programs at California Coast University were available to them and they were able to accomplish their goals.
- With family and work responsibilities, they report finding time to complete their college degree to be difficult until they found the flexibility and open enrollment/open completion that California Coast offers.
- Graduates tell us the difference obtaining their degree has made in their professional lives. For example, some law-enforcement graduates enter the program and complete their degrees to obtain pay increases; move into management within their various agencies; or qualify for detective or sergeant status. Some educators use graduate degrees to move up the pay scale; or to develop additional knowledge in their field. Some of our business students often need a degree such as an M.B.A. to be competitive in the marketplace or to change career paths. At the time of enrollment, applicants are always encouraged to check with their employers and/or licensing/credentialing boards to make sure their degrees will meet their educational objective.
- In addition to professional achievement, many of our graduates tell us obtaining a degree is also a personal achievement. For example, some of our graduates previously completed a bachelor’s degree when they were younger but also had a goal to complete a graduate degree.
- Graduates report achieving their undergraduate or graduate degrees in the areas of business, criminal justice, psychology, or education, and becoming more efficient leaders in their respective industries and organizations.
Question 15: “Please feel free to add any additional comments about your educational experiences with CCU.”
Overall, the comments are both positive and constructive, with graduates reporting the following:
- They love the flexibility of the program and how that has supported their work and personal schedules. The idea that they were able to complete courses around their work and family commitments was a huge value.
- They placed high value on being able to work at their own pace.
- They valued the affordable tuition that CCU offers.
- Graduates commented on the importance and challenge of taking a good measure of self-responsibility, keeping motivated, and staying focused on reaching their educational goals.
- While they found the programs could be challenging, they reported their experiences were valuable to them professionally and personally.
- They valued the faculty support and feedback.
- They valued the support they received from admissions at the start of their program and the support they received through working with the student success advisors throughout their programs.
- They gave us feedback on changes they would like to see to textbooks, writing assignments, course resources, etc.
The information we gather is reviewed by the Outcomes Assessment Committee and broken down into various themes to look for ways to continuously improve our programs. Suggestions are routed to respective departments for future use, and we consider our graduate comments moving forward. That’s why completing surveys is so important – one voice truly can make a difference!