Every three to five years the Alumni office likes to check in with our members with a formal survey to learn what is important to our graduates. In fall 2021, we surveyed Mohawk College alumni asking them to provide feedback on a variety of things, including communications, events, volunteering and more.
Here are some highlights from the results:
The Alumni 2021 Survey received 2,247 responses including graduates ranging from the class of 1967 to the class of 2021. Respondents were located around the world and across the country with most residing in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).
Over 74% of respondents are located in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.
When asked about the purpose of the Alumni Association graduates said:
- “To provide an opportunity for alumni to remain connected and learn of fellow graduate's successes.”
- “Build a better community.”
- “To keep graduates in the loop of interesting stories of graduates working and making a difference in the community and in the world as one.”
- “To facilitate a connection between graduates in the school and foster relationships with up-and-coming students.”
- “To provide a forum for engagement/association between alumni, students and faculty plus entertainment for all.”
- “Help alumni stay connected to Mohawk.”
- “To provide alumni with resources to further advance their careers/interests.”
Over 65% of respondents feel engaged by the Alumni Association
The ways alumni stay engaged include:
- Attending alumni events and reunions
- Receiving the monthly InTouch digital newsletter
- Reading the twice-annual InTouch magazine
- Connecting with the Mohawk Alumni social media accounts
Over 77% of respondents who receive the monthly InTouch newsletter find it effective to extremely effective.
Most respondents found that they learn something new about Mohawk, fellow alumni, college campuses, as well as programs or services in the monthly communication.
Some things respondents indicated they would like to see more of were job opportunities, contest winner announcements, more discounts, as well as college and student news.
We have implemented some changes based on these responses including:
- Creating the monthly career support newsletter - subscribe today;
- Highlighting the name of contest winners in the monthly InTouch digital newsletter;
- Increasing the stories we highlight of alumni, college and current students;
- Engaging with more alumni benefit partners -as well as increasing the number of alumni business directory entries.
“[The Alumni Perks App is an] easy to use platform with all the information I need in one place”
Although many of our respondents had not yet registered for the Alumni Perks App, the 28% of respondents that have used it really like it! Here are some of their thoughts:
“It’s nice to be able to have it at your fingertips on the phone.”
“Easy to use platform, with all information I need in one place.”
“Lots of great discounts.”
“I like how easy it is to use.”
“Well categorized and easily accessible.”
“Keeps me up to date on new perks.”
“Easy to use and very convenient.”
Benefit offers and programs these alumni have taken advantage of include home and auto insurance, entertainment ticket discounts, campus store discounts, as well as SoftMoc and other retail locations.
52% of respondents said they would be interested in attending Professional and Career Development events.
In addition to Professional and Career Development events respondents said they would also be interested in attending these other types of events, Reunions or Social (41%), Personal Development (40%), Networking (38%), and Speaker Series (28%). They would also be more likely to attend events that take place on weekday evenings.
Responding to this feedback we developed a new webinar and workshop series this past winter that featured topics such as Job Searching for People with Disabilities, Overcoming Imposter Syndrome, and Fostering Queer and Trans-Inclusive Spaces. We will continue to look for opportunities to bring alumni more events with equity, diversity and inclusion focus as well as professional development.
80% of respondents said they would volunteer to support students.
Respondents said they would be interested in volunteering in a variety of other ways including, event support (28%), mentoring (25%), representing your employer at a job fair or similar event (19%), being a committee or council member (14%), and as an alumni speaker on a panel or in the classroom (14%).
Although many alumni respondents indicated that they do not have time to volunteer, many indicated one-time or a few-times-a-year volunteer opportunities would be of interest to them. They have influenced our new volunteer section of the alumni website, where we will strive to share volunteer opportunities at the college, with the alumni association and within the community.
Thank you to all the alumni that took the time to respond to the 2021 Alumni Survey.
Although we only run an official survey every three to five years, we are always open to hearing feedback and suggestions from our alumni membership. Contact us anytime at alumni [at] mohawkcollege.ca.
This originally appeared in the Spring 2022 online InTouch magazine.