Most Catholic families looking at colleges are interested in the type of education their children will receive, what the campus atmosphere is like, the quality of the faculty, the accessibility of the sacraments, the personalized attention given, and finally, the ability the college has to assist their children with finding suitable careers post-graduation. To that end, most colleges survey their alumni six months after graduation, asking them important questions about their satisfaction levels, employment status, salary range, and much more.
Based on a knowledge rate of 100% of the graduates, Christendom’s Class of 2020 achieved an overall successful employment rate of 98.8%. This percentage — which includes employed graduates and those studying in graduate school — stands far above the national average and is a testament to the employability of Christendom’s alumni, to the outstanding nature of the high-quality liberal arts education, and to the continued success of the college’s career development program.
“Our recent graduates are finding success because they received individualized attention as they planned for their first job out of college,” says Director of Career Development Kristin Stephens. “Because we are a small school, I am able to build relationships and provide on-on-one attention to all students, meeting with them several times during their four years at Christendom. I take an individualized approach to help them discern the right job for them based on their goals and plans for their future.”
In the report, 97% of students said that their college education was worth the investment, exceeding the national average of 66%. Another 82% said that meeting with the college’s career development office was helpful — far above the national average of 16% — and of the 98.8% now currently employed, 65% of students are in jobs requiring a B.A. degree, as opposed to the national average of 56%. Additionally, of the 98.8%, 87.6% are employed while 11.2% are currently in graduate school.
These strong statistics disprove the national narrative that liberal arts majors are not employable in today’s workforce. Instead, these graduates’ skillsets — including improved communication, critical thinking, innovative thought, and leadership skills — helped them stand apart from their peers and land jobs, even during the tumult of 2020.
Stephens and Vice President for Enrollment and Student Success Tom McFadden have been working diligently to go beyond the college’s trademark personalized assistance and provide students with a systematic approach to discerning their career vocation over the past few years, resulting in the CareerPath™ program.
Rather than relying on chance, students are given the option to enroll in CareerPath™ during their Junior year and select their desired “First Job Out of College.” From there, they are able to work with the career development team on an individualized success plan, where they are assigned an alumni mentor in their chosen field, coached for job interviews, meet one-on-one regularly with a certified career counselor, and more. Additionally, the college’s integrated career-prep course, required of all students, has been integral to the success of recent alumni.
“Each of our recent graduates left our campus with a top-quality resume, an understanding of how to properly apply for a job and write a good cover letter, and a proper understanding of the importance of networking to achieve success,” says McFadden. “Through our Education for Life career preparation courses, our students are given a leg up over their peers at other colleges, and they have the confidence to approach their post-graduation pursuits with more intentionality and fervor.”
Graduates of the Class of 2020 are now working in a variety of different career fields, ranging from fundraising, to photography, to education, to healthcare, to IT, and more. When Warren Carroll founded Christendom College in 1977, his vision was to see alumni go into every career field and restore the culture through their witness in these diverse fields. Alumni of the Class of 2020 are doing just that, fulfilling the mission of the college in the process.