A recently completed survey shows that 98 percent of the 882 students who graduated from Fort Hays State University in the 2003-04 academic year are now either employed or enrolled in an advanced program of study.
This placement rate for FHSU graduates, including those in the Virtual College and at SIAS University of Business and Management in China, continues the success of recent years. The placement rate was 98 percent in 2002-03, 98 percent in 2001-02, 99 percent in 2000-01, 99 percent in 1999-2000 year, 99 percent in 1998-99, 98 percent in 1997-98, 97 percent in 1996-97, 97 percent in 1995-96 and 99 percent in 1994-95.
The survey is conducted annually by the Office of Career Services, which assists FHSU students in acquiring the skills necessary for a successful job search and provides information about available jobs. Career Services Director Dan Rice distributed the results of the most recent survey.
" An important measure of our success as a university is the ability of our graduates to find jobs or be accepted into programs of advanced study," said FHSU President Dr. Edward H. Hammond. "This reinforces our theme of 'Affordable Success.' We offer the most affordable higher education in Kansas and our students have distinguished themselves by winning national and regional academic competitions, but our almost flawless placement rate shows that the promise of success applies to all our students."
While other universities typically contact 75-80 percent of a graduating class for a lumped total, Rice said that FHSU makes it a point to contact every graduate individually to form accurate results.
" We utilize surveys mailed to graduates and available on the Web site and call each graduate individually by phone. We also utilize faculty and other acquaintances of the graduates," Rice said. "There's just a myriad of ways we try to contact the students."
Rice said naval students and non-Chinese international students are contacted before they leave campus or graduate.
Due to China's booming economy, the decision was made not to use FHSU resources to contact Chinese graduate students.
Of the 882 graduates in 2003-04, 651 are now employed in jobs related to their major field of study, 46 are employed outside their major, and 149 are enrolled in a program of continuing education. Sixteen of the graduates reported that they were not seeking employment at present, and just 20 were still seeking employment.
It is especially significant to note that 88.4 percent of the graduates are either working in their major field of study or are pursuing further education. That percentage is even stronger than it appears because some graduates intentionally choose to apply their education outside their field of study.
" Employers continuously seek out students from FHSU for their strong work ethic and excellent interpersonal skills," Rice said. "It's especially gratifying to note that FHSU graduates continue to enjoy an almost perfect placement rate in spite of the downturn in the economy."