Alumni Outcomes Survey

  • The perceived value of a Dallas College education is positive across all credential completion levels (associate, certificate, transfer, and no credential/degree). Associate degree completers were most likely to believe their Dallas College educ​ation ​was worth the cost and helped them achieve their goals.
  • Overall, Dallas College alumni perceptions on college experiences, satisfaction, career preparation, and value of education exceed those of alumni at other community colleges across the nation.​
  • Associate degree completers responded to questions related to value of education and impact more positively than certificate completers and those who did not earn a credential at Dallas College. However, on outcomes such as employment status, earnings, and further attainment of higher education credentials, associate degree completers performed less positively than respondents in other credential level categories, including those without a Dallas College credential.

Alumni surveys in higher education are retrospective assessments of the college experience; feedback from former students is used to assess outcomes on such as motivations for enrolling, completion goals and outcomes, value of education, further education, employment, and earnings. Historically, alumni surveys have served as an essential feedback and connection strategy at four-year institutions to maintain an engagement pipeline with graduates and to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of an institution’s programs, services, and operation​s. More recently, two-year colleges, including Dallas College, are creating alumni networks to leverage the resources (monetary and non-monetary) an alumni base brings to an institution.

In collaboration with Strada Education Network, the Research Institute at Dallas College launched the Institution’s first college-wide alumni outcomes survey in fall 2022 to improve understanding of the perceived value of the Dallas College experience among former students and to build the foundation for a data collection process from this population—all with the purpose of improving the educational experiences of both current and future Dallas College students. Dallas College was among several community colleges across the nation participating in Strada’s first pilot survey tailored to two-year colleges to explore education experiences and post-college outcomes of former students. The survey’s scope is comprehensive, as it provides data on the various education, work, and life pathways of attendees; it seeks to understand alumni’s motivations for attending Dallas College, the experiences they had, the skills they gained, and their life and career pathways.

The findings highlighted in this report capture the responses of 1,553 former students who completed 12 semester credit hours or more at Dallas College between 2012 and 2022. The questionnaire was fielded from November 14 to December 4, 2022, to an alumni sample going back to approximately 2002. In the sections below, Dallas College alumni perceptions on the value of their education and experiences at the institution and the impact their education and experiences have had on their careers and lives are synthesized from the Dallas College survey data and are compared with a national sample from the NORC AmeriSpeak public opinion survey. Specifica​lly, Strada questionnaire items are linked to and benchmarked against AmeriSpeak survey items that measure similar perceptions and outcomes, and comparisons are estimated through net benefit scores. Results are presented as both an overall grouping of all survey respondents and by credential level: associate degree completers, certificate completers, and those who did not complete any credential at Dallas College (including transfers to four-year and other two-year institutions, as well as stop-outs).

While the overall perception of the value of a Dallas College education is positive, and particularly so among associate degree completers, outcome measures for employment status, earnings, and educational advancement are comparatively low for associate completers. Implications of these trends and suggestions for improving outcomes are highlighted in the concluding sections​.

The perceived value of a Dallas College education is positive across all credential completion levels, including among those who did not complete a credential. However, associate degree completers were most inclined to believe their Dallas College education was worth the cost and helped them achieve their goals.

All Students

All students chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Strongly Agree Somewhat Agree Neither Agree nor Disagree Somewhat Disagree Strongly Disagree
My education helped me achieve my goals. 51% 29% 14% 2% 4%
My education was worth the cost. 57% 24% 14% 2% 3%

Associate Completers

Associate Completers chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Strongly Agree Somewhat Agree Neither Agree nor Disagree Somewhat Disagree Strongly Disagree
My education helped me achieve my goals. 63% 24% 6% 2% 6%
My education was worth the cost. 70% 17% 6% 2% 4%

Certificate Completers
 

Certificate Completers chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Strongly Agree Somewhat Agree Neither Agree nor Disagree Somewhat Disagree Strongly Disagree
My education helped me achieve my goals. 46% 34% 14% 2% 4%
My education was worth the cost. 52% 23% 18% 2% 4%

Transfer Students*

Transfer Students chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Strongly Agree Somewhat Agree Neither Agree nor Disagree Somewhat Disagree Strongly Disagree
My education helped me achieve my goals. 37% 34% 26% 1% 2%
My education was worth the cost. 39% 35% 23% 2% 1%

*The majority of respondents in the Transfer Students category are transfer students who earned baccalaureate degrees.

In comparison to White students, students of color across all credential completion levels are most likely to feel their Dallas College education was worth the cost and helped them achieve their goals. However, students of color across all credential completion levels are least likely to earn an income of over $50,000.

All Students

All Students chart. Data table follows with chart information.
All Students of Color Adult Learners Recent Graduates First Generation Females Associate Certificate
Helped Achieve Goals 80% 87% 75% 80% 78% 83% 86% 73%
Worth the Cost 81% 87% 77% 81% 79% 83% 87% 67%
Income >$50K 40% 25% 51% 40% 42% 34% 28% 53%

Associate Completers

Associate Completers chart. Data table follows with chart information.
All Students of Color Adult Learners Recent Graduates First Generation Females Associate
Helped Achieve Goals 86% 88% 82% 86% 85% 88% 86%
Worth the Cost 87% 88% 85% 87% 87% 89% 87%
Income >$50K 28% 24% 40% 28% 27% 24% 28%

Certificate Completers

Certificate Completers chart. Data table follows with chart information.
All Students of Color Adult Learners Recent Graduates First Generation Females Associate Certificate
Helped Achieve Goals 80% 87% 76% 80% 78% 81% 89% 73%
Worth the Cost 75% 83% 75% 75% 73% 79% 85% 67%
Income >$50K 43% 31% 48% 43% 45% 37% 32% 53%

Transfer Students*

Transfer Students chart. Data table follows with chart information.
All Students of Color Adult Learners Recent Graduates First Generation Females
Helped Achieve Goals 71% 85% 66% 71% 69% 74%
Worth the Cost 74% 87% 70% 74% 72% 75%
Income >$50K 59% 30% 65% 59% 61% 56%

*The majority of respondents in the Transfer Students category are transfer students who earned baccalaureate degrees.

With the exception of those who did not earn a degree/credential at Dallas College, alumni perceptions on college experiences, satisfaction, preparation, and value across all credential completion levels exceeds the overall perceptions of alumni at other community colleges in the US.

Benefit scores show the relative positive or negative score of each Likert scale question within broader categories (e.g., Academic Experiences, Financial Value, Career Satisfaction, etc.). Two 5-point Likert response scales are used for the questions and include either the levels not at all valuable, slightly valuable, somewhat valuable, very valuable, and extremely valuable or the levels strongly disagree, somewhat disagree, neither agree nor disagree, somewhat agree, and strongly agree. These scores are calculated based on the percentage of responses for each level within a question (see figure below). The bottom two boxes indicate the proportion of respondents who selected not at all valuable and slightly valuable for a question, and the top two boxes indicate the proportion of respondents who selected very valuable and extremely valuable for the question. The bottom two box scores are subtracted from the top two box scores (45% - 40% = 5% in the example below) to calculate a benefit score for each question. These benefit scores within a category are then averaged to create a Net Benefit Score for that category. The Net Benefit Scores are depicted by credential completion status in the graphs below.

A visual representative of the Likert scale described in the previous paragraph

All Students

All Students chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Academic Experiences Career Experiences Community Experiences Support Experiences Financial Value Career Preparation Career Satisfaction Life Impact Skills Affinity
Dallas College 35 28 13 22 49 61 56 61 45 34
Nationally Representative Sample of Community College Students from NORC's AmeriSpeak Survey 10 4 2 10 15 26 18 30 6 -2

Associate Completers

Associate Completers chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Academic Experiences Career Experiences Community Experiences Support Experiences Financial Value Career Preparation Career Satisfaction Life Impact Skills Affinity
Dallas College 56 30 29 42 55 71 42 72 56 29
Nationally Representative Sample of Community College Students from NORC's AmeriSpeak Survey 10 4 2 10 15 26 18 30 6 -2

Certificate Completers

Certificate Completers chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Academic Experiences Career Experiences Community Experiences Support Experiences Financial Value Career Preparation Career Satisfaction Life Impact Skills Affinity
Dallas College 36 30 16 19 51 63 56 61 44 41
Nationally Representative Sample of Community College Students from NORC's AmeriSpeak Survey 10 4 2 10 15 26 18 30 6 -2

Transfer Students*

Transfer Students. Data table follows with chart information.
Academic Experiences Career Experiences Community Experiences Support Experiences Financial Value Career Preparation Career Satisfaction Life Impact Skills Affinity
Dallas College 4 26 -5 -4 41 48 77 46 32 44
Nationally Representative Sample of Community College Students from NORC's AmeriSpeak Survey 10 4 2 10 15 26 18 30 6 -2

*The majority of respondents in the Transfer Students category are transfer students who earned baccalaureate degrees.

While alumni are more likely to find benefit than not in all types of academic experiences measured in the survey, flexibility in online course options is most valuable (extremely and very valuable) for associate and certificate completers and for Dallas College respondents overall.3

All Students

All students chart. Data table follows with chart information.
How valuable was/were… Not Applicable Not At All Valuable Slightly Valuable Somewhat Valuable Very Valuable Extremely Valuable
...the option to take some or all of your classes online? 3% 8% 11% 13% 23% 42%
...project-based learning? 4% 2% 14% 17% 27% 36%
…your classes, coureswork, and areas of study? 1% 9% 10% 17% 31% 32%
…research experience? 13% 2% 12% 19% 24% 30%
…your relationships with professors or instructors? 2% 10% 14% 22% 26% 26%
…the academic advising you received? 4% 13% 16% 18% 25% 24%
…the tutoring and other academic support you received? 10% 10% 16% 18% 24% 22%

Associate Completers

Associate completers chart. Data table follows with chart information.
How valuable was/were… Not Applicable Not At All Valuable Slightly Valuable Somewhat Valuable Very Valuable Extremely Valuable
...the option to take some or all of your classes online? 4% 2% 4% 7% 20% 63%
...project-based learning? 7% 2% 7% 13% 28% 43%
…your classes, coureswork, and areas of study? 0.33% 0.67% 5% 14% 33% 47%
…research experience? 20% 1% 7% 16% 22% 34%
…your relationships with professors or instructors? 2% 4% 10% 19% 26% 39%
…the academic advising you received? 5% 8% 12% 14% 24% 36%
…the tutoring and other academic support you received? 14% 6% 11% 16% 21% 32%

Certificate Completers

Certificate completers chart. Data table follows with chart information.
How valuable was/were… Not Applicable Not At All Valuable Slightly Valuable Somewhat Valuable Very Valuable Extremely Valuable
…project-based learning? 6% 2% 13% 18% 27% 36%
...the option to take some or all of your classes online? 3% 8% 11% 13% 26% 39%
…your classes, coureswork, and areas of study? 2% 10% 9% 18% 33% 28%
…research experience? 11% 2% 11% 20% 22% 34%
…your relationships with professors or instructors? 1% 12% 12% 23% 28% 24%
…the academic advising you received? 6% 11% 14% 21% 24% 24%
…the tutoring and other academic support you received? 9% 11% 13% 18% 26% 21%

Transfer Students*

No credential chart. Data table follows with chart information.
How valuable was/were… Not Applicable Not At All Valuable Slightly Valuable Somewhat Valuable Very Valuable Extremely Valuable
...the option to take some or all of your classes online? 1% 17% 23% 21% 25% 13%
...project-based learning? 1% 1% 24% 23% 24% 27%
…your classes, coureswork, and areas of study? 0% 21% 20% 22% 26% 11%
…research experience? 3% 2% 19% 24% 28% 24%
…your relationships with professors or instructors? 1% 19% 20% 25% 27% 9%
…the academic advising you received? 3% 24% 21% 21% 23% 8%
…the tutoring and other academic support you received? 3% 17% 24% 20% 27% 9%

*The majority of respondents in the Transfer Students category are transfer students who earned baccalaureate degrees.

Among those respondents who find career supports applicable to their Dallas College experience, obtaining an occupation post-education, career advising, and mentorship are the most salient factors determining value (extremely and very valuable) in career experiences.4

All Students

All students chart. Data table follows with chart information.
How valuable was/were… Not Applicable Not At All Valuable Slightly Valuable Somewhat Valuable Very Valuable Extremely Valuable
...the career and job placement you received? 13% 3% 15% 17% 22% 30%
…the career advising you recevied? 16% 4% 13% 18% 20% 29%
…being mentored? 32% 2% 11% 12% 18% 25%
…having a paid internship? 38% 1% 10% 11% 15% 25%
…receiving work-study? 40% 1% 11% 12% 15% 21%
…having an unpaid internship? 36% 4% 13% 14% 14% 19%

Associate Completers

Associate completers chart. Data table follows with chart information.
How valuable was/were… Not Applicable Not At All Valuable Slightly Valuable Somewhat Valuable Very Valuable Extremely Valuable
...the career and job placement you received? 19% 3% 9% 14% 21% 34%
…the career advising you recevied? 24% 6% 8% 14% 17% 31%
…being mentored? 48% 2% 4% 7% 14% 25%
…having a paid internship? 58% 1% 2% 4% 11% 24%
…receiving work-study? 61% 1% 3% 4% 11% 20%
…having an unpaid internship? 55% 5% 7% 8% 8% 17%

Certificate Completers

Certificate completers chart. Data table follows with chart information.
How valuable was/were… Not Applicable Not At All Valuable Slightly Valuable Somewhat Valuable Very Valuable Extremely Valuable
...the career and job placement you received? 10% 3% 13% 15% 25% 34%
…the career advising you recevied? 12% 4% 15% 17% 20% 32%
…being mentored? 25% 1% 12% 15% 21% 26%
…having a paid internship? 32% 3% 11% 13% 16% 25%
…receiving work-study? 35% 0% 15% 12% 15% 23%
…having an unpaid internship? 28% 5% 11% 19% 15% 22%

Transfer Students*

No credential chart. Data table follows with chart information.
How valuable was/were… Not Applicable Not At All Valuable Slightly Valuable Somewhat Valuable Very Valuable Extremely Valuable
...the career and job placement you received? 3% 2% 24% 22% 24% 25%
…the career advising you recevied? 5% 2% 18% 24% 24% 27%
…being mentored? 8% 0% 22% 19% 24% 27%
…having a paid internship? 8% 1% 21% 21% 22% 27%
…receiving work-study? 10% 1% 21% 22% 23% 23%
…having an unpaid internship? 8% 2% 24% 20% 22% 24%

*The majority of respondents in the Transfer Students category are transfer students who earned baccalaureate degrees.

Among those respondents who find community experiences applicable to their time at Dallas College, making professional connections is perceived to be most valuable across all credential completion categories as well as among non-completers (extremely and very valuable). Attending speaking forums, events, and discussions ranks second in value for all respondents overall and associate completers, while networking with alumni ranks second for certificate completers. Non-completers of credentials find value in off-campus volunteering/community engagement more so than on-campus enrichment and professional development opportunities.

All Students

All students chart. Data table follows with chart information.
How valuable was/were… Not Applicable Not At All Valuable Slightly Valuable Somewhat Valuable Very Valuable Extremely Valuable
…making professional connections? 21% 8% 12% 14% 23% 21%
…participating in off-campus community engagement or volunteering? 31% 8% 11% 15% 19% 15%
…attending speakers, forums, cultural events and discussions? 26% 8% 13% 17% 19% 17%
…participating in campus leadership and volunteering? 33% 10% 10% 15% 18% 15%
…networking with alumni? 30% 11% 10% 15% 17% 17%
…participating in clubs and social groups? 32% 9% 14% 14% 16% 15%
…participating in sports? 43% 11% 9% 12% 15% 10%

Associate Completers

Associate completers chart. Data table follows with chart information.
How valuable was/were… Not Applicable Not At All Valuable Slightly Valuable Somewhat Valuable Very Valuable Extremely Valuable
…making professional connections? 32% 3% 5% 9% 20% 31%
…attending speakers, forums, cultural events and discussions? 38% 1% 7% 13% 16% 25%
…participating in off-campus community engagement or volunteering? 47% 2% 4% 10% 14% 23%
…networking with alumni? 44% 3% 5% 10% 13% 25%
…participating in campus leadership and volunteering? 51% 1% 3% 11% 13% 21%
…participating in clubs and social groups? 48% 2% 6% 10% 13% 21%
…participating in sports? 66% 4% 3% 6% 7% 14%

Certificate Completers

Certificate completers chart. Data table follows with chart information.
How valuable was/were… Not Applicable Not At All Valuable Slightly Valuable Somewhat Valuable Very Valuable Extremely Valuable
…making professional connections? 16% 8% 14% 15% 27% 21%
…participating in campus leadership and volunteering? 28% 10% 9% 15% 23% 15%
…participating in off-campus community engagement or volunteering? 26% 10% 11% 17% 21% 16%
…attending speakers, forums, cultural events and discussions? 25% 9% 12% 17% 20% 17%
…networking with alumni? 24% 13% 10% 15% 20% 18%
…participating in sports? 38% 10% 10% 13% 18% 12%
…participating in clubs and social groups? 29% 9% 15% 14% 18% 15%

Transfer Students*

No credential chart. Data table follows with chart information.
How valuable was/were… Not Applicable Not At All Valuable Slightly Valuable Somewhat Valuable Very Valuable Extremely Valuable
…making professional connections? 5% 17% 21% 22% 26% 9%
…attending speakers, forums, cultural events and discussions? 8% 19% 22% 22% 23% 7%
…participating in off-campus community engagement or volunteering? 7% 17% 20% 23% 28% 6%
…networking with alumni? 8% 22% 19% 24% 23% 6%
…participating in campus leadership and volunteering? 7% 22% 19% 22% 23% 7%
…participating in clubs and social groups? 9% 20% 22% 20% 22% 6%
…participating in sports? 12% 22% 17% 20% 25% 4%

*The majority of respondents in the Transfer Students category are transfer students who earned baccalaureate degrees.

While access to technology and financial aid are most valued (extremely and very valuable) among alumni who used support services, former students also benefited from other student success supports such as counseling and mental health services, health clinics, food pantries, and transportation assistance. Non-completers found Dallas College referrals for community-based resources and supports especially helpful.

All Students

All students chart. Data table follows with chart information.
How valuable was/were… Not Applicable Not At All Valuable Slightly Valuable Somewhat Valuable Very Valuable Extremely Valuable
…financial aid or grants? 14% 9% 9% 10% 16% 41%
…access to technology (computers, labs, hotspots, etc.)? 10% 8% 11% 12% 22% 37%
…a campus food pantry or access to free meals? 31% 8% 9% 12% 17% 23%
…on campus health clinic? 30% 8% 10% 12% 18% 22%
…counseling and mental health services? 29% 8% 11% 11% 18% 23%
…transportation assistance? 34% 8% 10% 11% 15% 23%
…racial/ethnic/gender or veterans affairs affinity groups or centers? 35% 7% 11% 11% 15% 20%
…referrals to other types of non-campus community support and resources? 36% 9% 9% 12% 16% 19%
…on-campus childcare? 44% 8% 9% 10% 14% 16%
…disability resource services? 43% 8% 9% 10% 14% 16%
…housing assistance? 44% 9% 8% 9% 14% 15%

Associate Completers

Associate Completers chart. Data table follows with chart information.
How valuable was/were… Not Applicable Not At All Valuable Slightly Valuable Somewhat Valuable Very Valuable Extremely Valuable
…access to technology (computers, labs, hotspots, etc.)? 13% 1% 4% 7% 19% 56%
…financial aid or grants? 19% 2% 2% 4% 11% 63%
…counseling and mental health services? 43% 1% 4% 4% 13% 35%
…a campus food pantry or access to free meals? 45% 2% 3% 5% 13% 33%
…on campus health clinic? 43% 3% 3% 6% 14% 32%
…transportation assistance? 50% 2% 3% 3% 11% 33%
…racial/ethnic/gender or veterans affairs affinity groups or centers? 53% 1% 4% 4% 10% 29%
…referrals to other types of non-campus community support and resources? 53% 2% 3% 6% 11% 27%
…disability resource services? 65% 1% 2% 2% 8% 23%
…on-campus childcare? 66% 1% 2% 3% 7% 22%
…housing assistance? 65% 2% 2% 2% 8% 22%

Certificate Completers

Certificate Completers chart. Data table follows with chart information.
How valuable was/were… Not Applicable Not At All Valuable Slightly Valuable Somewhat Valuable Very Valuable Extremely Valuable
…access to technology (computers, labs, hotspots, etc.)? 11% 8% 12% 13% 22% 35%
…financial aid or grants? 15% 10% 9% 15% 17% 35%
…transportation assistance? 27% 8% 11% 12% 19% 22%
…counseling and mental health services? 26% 9% 12% 12% 21% 20%
…on campus health clinic? 25% 8% 14% 12% 20% 21%
…a campus food pantry or access to free meals? 29% 10% 10% 13% 18% 20%
…racial/ethnic/gender or veterans affairs affinity groups or centers? 32% 8% 13% 9% 18% 19%
…referrals to other types of non-campus community support and resources? 27% 10% 11% 16% 16% 19%
…housing assistance? 36% 11% 8% 12% 17% 16%
…on-campus childcare? 37% 9% 10% 10% 17% 16%
…disability resource services? 36% 10% 10% 11% 15% 17%

Transfer Students*

No credential chart. Data table follows with chart information.
How valuable was/were… Not Applicable Not At All Valuable Slightly Valuable Somewhat Valuable Very Valuable Extremely Valuable
…access to technology (computers, labs, hotspots, etc.)? 2% 20% 22% 20% 24% 12%
…financial aid or grants? 4% 20% 21% 17% 25% 13%
…counseling and mental health services? 9% 20% 21% 20% 24% 7%
…a campus food pantry or access to free meals? 10% 18% 18% 22% 24% 8%
…on campus health clinic? 9% 19% 18% 23% 24% 8%
…transportation assistance? 10% 19% 19% 25% 20% 7%
…racial/ethnic/gender or veterans affairs affinity groups or centers? 10% 18% 21% 24% 21% 8%
…referrals to other types of non-campus community support and resources? 11% 20% 16% 21% 25% 7%
…disability resource services? 11% 18% 21% 21% 23% 7%
…on-campus childcare? 12% 17% 21% 22% 22% 7%
…housing assistance? 12% 21% 19% 18% 23% 6%

*The majority of respondents in the Transfer Students category are transfer students who earned baccalaureate degrees.

Alumni across all credential completion levels (including those without a credential) are more likely to believe than not that their Dallas College education had at least a fairly positive impact on their earnings, their financial circumstances, and their ability to support themselves and their families.

All Students

All students chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Did not help at all or had a very negative impact Helped a little or had somewhat negative impact Helped some or had no impact Helped quite a bit or had somewhat positive impact Helped a great deal or had a very positive impact
What impact has it had on your financial circumstances? 2% 5% 25% 30% 39%
How much has it helped you to be able to support yourself and your family? 6% 12% 22% 23% 37%
How much has it helped you to make more money? 6% 12% 23% 23% 36%

Associate Completers

Associate Completers chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Did not help at all or had a very negative impact Helped a little or had somewhat negative impact Helped some or had no impact Helped quite a bit or had somewhat positive impact Helped a great deal or had a very positive impact
What impact has it had on your financial circumstances? 2% 6% 20% 30% 42%
How much has it helped you to be able to support yourself and your family? 7% 6% 21% 22% 44%
How much has it helped you to make more money? 9% 7% 21% 21% 42%

Certificate Completers

Certificate Completers chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Did not help at all or had a very negative impact Helped a little or had somewhat negative impact Helped some or had no impact Helped quite a bit or had somewhat positive impact Helped a great deal or had a very positive impact
What impact has it had on your financial circumstances? 2% 4% 23% 33% 39%
How much has it helped you to be able to support yourself and your family? 6% 11% 23% 29% 32%
How much has it helped you to make more money? 5% 13% 24% 24% 34%

Transfer Students*

No credential chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Transfer Students Did not help at all or had a very negative impact Helped a little or had somewhat negative impact Helped some or had no impact Helped quite a bit or had somewhat positive impact Helped a great deal or had a very positive impact
What impact has it had on your financial circumstances? 2% 2% 33% 28% 36%
How much has it helped you to be able to support yourself and your family? 3% 20% 24% 24% 30%
How much has it helped you to make more money? 4% 20% 22% 25% 29%

*The majority of respondents in the Transfer Students category are transfer students who earned baccalaureate degrees.

Alumni across all credential completion categories are more likely than not to feel their Dallas College education somewhat and very positively contributed to various career preparation experiences. Although associate degree completers find their education to reap the greatest value in regard to career preparation and success, those who did not earn a credential still believe their academic experience at Dallas College made a difference in their professional endeavors.

All Students

All students chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Did not help at all or had a very negative impact Helped a little or had somewhat negative impact Helped some or had no impact Helped quite a bit or had somewhat positive impact Helped a great deal or had a very positive impact
What impact has it had on your career success? 1% 2% 21% 33% 44%
Has it made you an attractive candidate for potential employers? 4% 5% 21% 28% 43%
How much has it helped you to gain skills to be successful in work? 2% 12% 17% 25% 44%
How much has it helped you to advance your career? 4% 12% 18% 23% 43%

Associate Completers

Associate Completers chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Did not help at all or had a very negative impact Helped a little or had somewhat negative impact Helped some or had no impact Helped quite a bit or had somewhat positive impact Helped a great deal or had a very positive impact
What impact has it had on your career success? 1% 1% 13% 33% 52%
Has it made you an attractive candidate for potential employers? 5% 5% 16% 25% 49%
How much has it helped you to gain skills to be successful in work? 3% 6% 13% 25% 54%
How much has it helped you to advance your career? 5% 5% 14% 22% 53%

Certificate Completers

Certificate Completers chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Did not help at all or had a very negative impact Helped a little or had somewhat negative impact Helped some or had no impact Helped quite a bit or had somewhat positive impact Helped a great deal or had a very positive impact
What impact has it had on your career success? 1% 3% 19% 35% 43%
Has it made you an attractive candidate for potential employers? 4% 4% 18% 30% 45%
How much has it helped you to gain skills to be successful in work? 1% 11% 18% 25% 45%
How much has it helped you to advance your career? 3% 11% 18% 25% 44%

Transfer Students*

No credential chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Did not help at all or had a very negative impact Helped a little or had somewhat negative impact Helped some or had no impact Helped quite a bit or had somewhat positive impact Helped a great deal or had a very positive impact
What impact has it had on your career success? 1% 2% 32% 32% 35%
Has it made you an attractive candidate for potential employers? 2% 3% 29% 32% 35%
How much has it helped you to gain skills to be successful in work? 2% 23% 20% 25% 31%
How much has it helped you to advance your career? 2% 21% 24% 23% 31%

*The majority of respondents in the Transfer Students category are transfer students who earned baccalaureate degrees.

Associate degree completers, certificate completers, and Dallas College alumni overall believe their Dallas College education increased their well-being and helped them learn new things quite a bit or a great deal. Non-completers feel their experience at Dallas College primarily improved their well-being and increased their engagement as citizens and community members.

All Students

All students chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Not at all A little Some Quite a bit A great deal
What impact has it had on your overall well-being? 1% 2% 19% 31% 48%
What impact has it had on your community engagement, such as voting, volunteering, or advocacy? 1% 1% 36% 31% 32%
How much has it helped you learn new things? 1% 11% 16% 27% 45%
How much has it helped you discover how to become the best version of yourself? 4% 9% 19% 27% 41%
How much has it helped you to be a good role model? 3% 11% 19% 26% 41%

Associate Completers

Associate Completers chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Not at all A little Some Quite a bit A great deal
What impact has it had on your overall well-being? 1% 3% 11% 32% 54%
What impact has it had on your community engagement, such as voting, volunteering, or advocacy? 1% 1% 37% 29% 34%
How much has it helped you learn new things? 2% 3% 11% 28% 56%
How much has it helped you discover how to become the best version of yourself? 6% 4% 15% 25% 51%
How much has it helped you to be a good role model? 6% 4% 16% 25% 50%

Certificate Completers

Certificate Completers chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Not at all A little Some Quite a bit A great deal
What impact has it had on your overall well-being? 1% 2% 19% 34% 45%
What impact has it had on your community engagement, such as voting, volunteering, or advocacy? 1% 1% 33% 32% 34%
How much has it helped you learn new things? 1% 11% 19% 25% 45%
How much has it helped you discover how to become the best version of yourself? 3% 10% 20% 29% 38%
How much has it helped you to be a good role model? 3% 10% 19% 30% 38%

Transfer Students*

No credential chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Not at all A little Some Quite a bit A great deal
What impact has it had on your overall well-being? 1% 2% 30% 26% 42%
What impact has it had on your community engagement, such as voting, volunteering, or advocacy? 1% 1% 35% 32% 31%
How much has it helped you learn new things? 2% 24% 21% 26% 28%
How much has it helped you discover how to become the best version of yourself? 1% 17% 26% 27% 29%
How much has it helped you to be a good role model? 1% 23% 22% 25% 30%

*The majority of respondents in the Transfer Students category are transfer students who earned baccalaureate degrees.

Across all credential completion categories (including non-completers), alumni are most likely to somewhat or strongly agree that they are proud of and feel a connection to Dallas College. However, alumni are less enthusiastic about mentoring and engaging with current students.

All Students

All students chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Strongly disagree/Not at all interested Somewhat disagree/A little interested Neither agree nor disagree/Somewhat interested Somewhat agree/Very interested Strongly agree/Extremely interested
When someone praises Dallas College, it feels like a personal compliment. 2% 1% 20% 29% 48%
I felt like part of the community at Dallas College. 4% 4% 24% 31% 37%
If a story in the media criticized Dallas College, I would feel embarassed. 9% 5% 31% 27% 28%
How interested would you be in talking to current students about work and career? 15% 15% 23% 20% 27%
How interested would you be in serving as a mentor for current students? 17% 16% 23% 19% 25%
How interested would you be in providing a job shadowing experience for current students? 22% 15% 21% 18% 24%

Associate Completers

Associate Completers chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Strongly disagree/Not at all interested Somewhat disagree/A little interested Neither agree nor disagree/Somewhat interested Somewhat agree/Very interested Strongly agree/Extremely interested
When someone praises Dallas College, it feels like a personal compliment. 3% 1% 14% 26% 56%
I felt like part of the community at Dallas College. 5% 6% 19% 28% 42%
If a story in the media criticized Dallas College, I would feel embarassed. 12% 8% 31% 24% 25%
How interested would you be in talking to current students about work and career? 23% 10% 24% 16% 27%
How interested would you be in serving as a mentor for current students? 25% 14% 21% 15% 25%
How interested would you be in providing a job shadowing experience for current students? 33% 11% 20% 13% 23%

Certificate Completers

Certificate Completers chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Strongly disagree/Not at all interested Somewhat disagree/A little interested Neither agree nor disagree/Somewhat interested Somewhat agree/Very interested Strongly agree/Extremely interested
When someone praises Dallas College, it feels like a personal compliment. 2% 1% 21% 30% 46%
I felt like part of the community at Dallas College. 4% 5% 23% 32% 36%
If a story in the media criticized Dallas College, I would feel embarassed. 7% 5% 30% 25% 32%
How interested would you be in talking to current students about work and career? 12% 14% 20% 22% 32%
How interested would you be in serving as a mentor for current students? 13% 14% 21% 21% 31%
How interested would you be in providing a job shadowing experience for current students? 16% 15% 21% 22% 26%

Transfer Students*

No credential chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Strongly disagree/Not at all interested Somewhat disagree/A little interested Neither agree nor disagree/Somewhat interested Somewhat agree/Very interested Strongly agree/Extremely interested
When someone praises Dallas College, it feels like a personal compliment. 1% 2% 26% 35% 36%
I felt like part of the community at Dallas College. 3% 1% 31% 36% 30%
If a story in the media criticized Dallas College, I would feel embarassed. 4% 1% 31% 31% 33%
How interested would you be in talking to current students about work and career? 3% 22% 22% 26% 27%
How interested would you be in serving as a mentor for current students? 6% 20% 26% 25% 24%
How interested would you be in providing a job shadowing experience for current students? 7% 21% 23% 23% 26%

*The majority of respondents in the Transfer Students category are transfer students who earned baccalaureate degrees.

Associate degree completers are less likely to be employed full-time in comparison to alumni in other credential completion categories and those without a credential. While the majority of associate degree completers and certificate completers have a current income of less than $50,000, the majority of respondents without a Dallas College credential earn $50,000 to $100,000, indicating their occupational placements are likely based on more advanced degrees.

All Students

All students chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Employment Status Income
Full-Time 68% $150K+ 1%
Part-Time 12% $100K - $150K 2%
Multiple 5% $50K - $100K 37%
Not currently working, but looking 10% <$50K 49%
Not currently working, and not looking 5% Decline to answer 11%

Associate Completers

Associate Completers chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Employment Status Income
Full-Time 54% $150K+ 1%
Part-Time 18% $100K - $150K 3%
Multiple 6% $50K - $100K 24%
Not currently working, but looking 15% <$50K 56%
Not currently working, and not looking 8% Decline to answer 16%

Certificate Completers
 

Certificate Completers chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Employment Status Income
Full-Time 70% $150K+ 1%
Part-Time 12% $100K - $150K 2%
Multiple 7% $50K - $100K 40%
Not currently working, but looking 9% <$50K 49%
Not currently working, and not looking 2% Decline to answer 8%

Transfer Students*

No credential chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Employment Status Income
Full-Time 90% $150K+ 1%
Part-Time 4% $100K - $150K 1%
Multiple 2% $50K - $100K 57%
Not currently working, but looking 3% <$50K 38%
Not currently working, and not looking 1% Decline to answer 3%

*The majority of respondents in the Transfer Students category are transfer students who earned baccalaureate degrees.

Alumni who did not earn a credential at Dallas College were most likely to complete a baccalaureate degree in comparison to the other groups, which implies a significant proportion of non-completers transferred to four-year institutions. In comparison to associate degree completers, certificate completers were more likely to obtain a baccalaureate degree and subsequent graduate credentials since completing their education at Dallas College.

All Students

All students chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Bachelor's degree 49%
Postbaccalaureate certificate 1%
Master's degree 6%
Post-master's degree 2%
Doctoral research degree 1%
Doctoral professional degree 1%
None 41%

Associate Completers

Associate Completers chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Bachelor's degree 34%
Postbaccalaureate certificate 1%
Master's degree 7%
Post-master's degree 1%
Doctoral research degree 0.4%
Doctoral professional degree 0.2%
None 56%

Certificate Completers
 

Certificate Completers chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Bachelor's degree 43%
Postbaccalaureate certificate 2%
Master's degree 7%
Post-master's degree 4%
Doctoral research degree 2%
Doctoral professional degree 2%
None 41%

Transfer Students*

No credential chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Bachelor's degree 86%
Postbaccalaureate certificate 2%
Master's degree 2%
Post-master's degree 2%
Doctoral research degree 0.2%
Doctoral professional degree 0.5%
None 7%

*The majority of respondents in the Transfer Students category are transfer students who earned baccalaureate degrees.

The primary category of work in which Dallas College alumni overall, certificate completers, and those without a Dallas College credential are employed is production, transportation, and material moving. Associate degree completers are primarily employed in healthcare and education.

All Students

Production, transportation, and material moving 34%
Healthcare 11%
Education, training, and library 9%
Business and financial operations 8%
Office and administrative support 6%
Sales and related 6%
Computer, engineering, and science 5%
Other 21%

Associate Completers

Healthcare 17%
Education, training, and library 14%
Business and financial operations 11%
Sales and related 10%
Office and administrative support 8.0%
Computer, engineering, and science 8.0%
Community service, social service, legal, arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media 6%
Other 27%

Certificate Completers

Production, transportation, and material moving 36%
Business and financial operations 10%
Education, training, and library 9%
Healthcare 8%
Computer, engineering, and science 7%
Office and administrative support 7%
Other 23%

Transfer Students*

Production, transportation, and material moving 76%
Other 24%

*The majority of respondents in the Transfer Students category are transfer students who earned baccalaureate degrees.

The greatest proportion of associate degree and certificate completers in the alumni sample are women, while a higher proportion of men left Dallas College without completing a credential. Since the no-credential category includes transfer students to other two- and four-year institutions, it is likely that men (and women) in this sample group have pursued more advanced credentials beyond community college.

All Students

All students chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Male 36%
Female 63%
Another gender identity 1%
No answer 0%

Associate Completers

Associate Completers chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Male 26%
Female 72%
Another gender identity 2%
No answer 0%

Certificate Completers
 

Certificate Completers chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Male 37%
Female 61%
Another gender identity 1%
No answer 1%

Transfer Students*

No credential chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Male 51%
Female 48%
Another gender identity 1%
No answer 0%

*The majority of respondents in the Transfer Students category are transfer students who earned baccalaureate degrees.

Overall, the highest proportion of survey respondents fall in the young adult learner category (ages 25-39), and the second-highest proportion of respondents are of traditional age (ages 18-24). The proportion of alumni aged 25-39 increases from associate degree completion to certificate completion to noncompletion of a credential, while the proportion of alumni aged 18-24 decreases across these attainment levels. Older students, many of whom have a footing in the workforce already, are likely to pursue shorter-term credentials to upskill or reskill. They may also aim for baccalaureate degrees to advance their positions in their careers and transfer after completing the core or a year of basic coursework.

All Students

All students chart. Data table follows with chart information.
18-24 23%
25-39 61%
40+ 13%
No Answer 3%

Associate Completers

Associate Completers chart. Data table follows with chart information.
18-24 33%
25-39 43%
40+ 19%
No Answer 5%

Certificate Completers
 

Certificate Completers chart. Data table follows with chart information.
18-24 17%
25-39 61%
40+ 18%
No Answer 4%

Transfer Students*

No credential chart. Data table follows with chart information.
18-24 10%
25-39 85%
40+ 4%
No Answer 1%

*The majority of respondents in the Transfer Students category are transfer students who earned baccalaureate degrees.

The proportions of survey respondents who are Hispanic and African American decrease from associate degree completion to certificate completion to noncompletion of a credential, while the proportion of White respondents increases across these attainment levels. In comparison to actual race and ethnicity proportions among the Dallas College student body, White and Non-Hispanic respondents are overrepresented in this sample.

All Students

All students chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Hispanic 27%
Not Hispanic 73%
White 58%
Other 3%
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander 0%
Multi-racial 11%
Black or African American 21%
Asian 6%
American Indian/Alaska Native 2%

Associate Completers

Associate Completers chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Hispanic 40%
Not Hispanic 60%
White 31%
Other 3%
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander 0%
Multi-racial 19%
Black or African American 35%
Asian 10%
American Indian/Alaska Native 2%

Certificate Completers
 

Certificate Completers chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Hispanic 21%
Not Hispanic 79%
White 60%
Other 2%
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander 1%
Multi-racial 10%
Black or African American 21%
Asian 3%
American Indian/Alaska Native 3%

Transfer Students*

No credential chart. Data table follows with chart information.
Hispanic 10%
Not Hispanic 90%
White 88%
Other 1%
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander 1%
Multi-racial 3%
Black or African American 5%
Asian 2%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1%

*The majority of respondents in the Transfer Students category are transfer students who earned baccalaureate degrees.

  • Dallas College must continue to maximize its efforts in fostering marketable skills, including both occupation-specific skills relating to particular fields of study as well as transferable skills that can be used in a variety of careers across distinct fields. Investing in and expanding experiential learning opportunities such as the Marketable Skills Faculty Integrators will help students link their academic skills to employability skills.
  • The notion of the sufficiency of an associate degree or certificate in obtaining well-paying careers within one’s field of study may not align with current workforce trends and demands in most occupational areas. Success coaches and career advisors can change student perceptions of the labor market value of such credentials, encourage students to pursue bachelor’s degrees and more advanced credentials, and guide students in transitioning from Dallas College to the next step—whether that is transferring to a four-year program that aligns with their Dallas College program of study or searching for and identifying jobs for which they qualify with their Dallas College credential.
  • More efforts to connect alumni to employers and other graduates in their fields can improve their career outlook and/or clarify next-step decisions to prepare for desired occupations.
  • Further qualitative and quantitative research examining the trajectories of associate degree and certificate completers throughout postsecondary education will help determine fundamental differences in these student groups’ perceptions, motivations, and desired outcomes in higher education.

In comparison to attitudes of community college students across the nation toward their respective institutions, Dallas College alumni regard their education and experiences at the College quite positively. Dallas College alumni perceptions on the overall benefits of academic, career, community, and support experiences, financial value, career preparation and satisfaction, skills development, affinity, and life impact from their alma mater across all credential completion levels generally surpass the perceptions of a nationally representative sample of community college students toward their two-year institutions. Findings also indicate that across all credential categories, including no credential/degree earned, alumni, on the whole, hold positive views on the value of their Dallas College education. Interestingly, associate degree completers responded to questions related to value and impact more positively than certificate completers and those who did not earn a credential at Dallas College. However, on outcomes such as employment status, earnings, and further attainment of higher education credentials, associate degree completers performed less positively than respondents in other credential level categories, including those without a Dallas College credential. This implies that the student experience at Dallas College is (and has been) complex—perhaps particularly so for associate degree seekers; for many former students, value may be assessed more on the basis of individualized motivations and goals than traditional measures of postsecondary education success such as career advancement and monetary returns.

Two nuances in the Strada survey data need further explanation. Firstly, while the report is organized by levels of credential completion, one caveat to note regarding the “Transfer Students” category is that 1) it includes students with some college but no degree or credential attained up to present-day as well as students who completed some courses and transferred to four-year institutions, and 2) more transfer students than some college/no degree students exist in this category in the survey data. A greater proportion of transfer respondents in the “Transfer Students” category suggests that the outcomes related to educational attainment post-Dallas College, employment status, and earnings are relatively higher for this group compared to certificate and associate completers, as these individuals likely earned baccalaureate degrees, placed in stable, full-time occupations, and earned higher wages. As indicated in the figures related to education completed since attending Dallas College, 86% of respondents without a credential from the institution proceeded to earn a bachelor’s, while only 34% of associate completers and 43% of certificate completers earned this credential. With current income, 57% of respondents without a credential from Dallas College earn $50K -$100K, while 24% of associate degree holders and 40% of certificate holders fall within this earnings bracket. Outcomes for full-time employment status follow the same pattern.

Another nuance observed in the data is the differences in characteristics between associate degree and certificate completers. The data suggest that a greater proportion of associate degree completers than certificate completers are Hispanic/Latino and African American, and associate degree completers are more likely to fall in the youngest age bracket. Variations in academic preparedness, educational attitudes, and career goals driven by cultural, environmental, and socioeconomic factors may begin to explain why many students who aspired toward associate degrees attribute a substantial amount of growth and value to their postsecondary experience but have not achieved the next level of degree attainment, whereas certificate seekers attribute less value to their Dallas College experience but have earned bachelor’s degrees and post-baccalaureate credentials in higher proportions. While a holistic analysis of the nuances between the two groups is beyond the scope of this report and dataset, further mixed methods research can gauge differences in the backgrounds, motivations, goals, and attitudes toward educational attainment of alumni who pursued associate degrees versus those who pursued certification pathways.

Findings from the Strada pilot alumni survey must be interpreted with the understanding that the results reflect the responses of a self-selected group of former students who are not be completely representative of the Dallas College alumni population from the past ten years. Specifically, White and non-Hispanic/Latino demographic groups and transfers to four-year institutions are overrepresented in the data in comparison to actual counts of these student groups attending Dallas College from 2012 to 2022. Despite such limitations, the survey data capture a wide range of meaningful measures that depict the motivations, experiences, and outcomes of a heterogenous subset of Dallas College’s alumni, including alumni who are current employees of Dallas College. Approximately 5.3% of survey participants can be identified as College employees through self-reported ID numbers and email addresses, but the actual percentage of employee respondents is likely around 10%. Forthcoming reports from the Research Institute will disseminate these measures along with alumni’s employment choices, occupational sectors, job categories, and skills development in greater detail.

1Data come from the Strada Community College Outcomes Survey (2022-2023). Responses from Dallas College alumni were collected in partnership with the University of Wisconsin Survey Center. Data from the national sample were collected in partnership with NORC at the University of Chicago from a nationally representative sample of 1,014 individuals who attended a community college within the past 10 years and are not currently enrolled.

2A sample of 1,014 adults aged 18+ who attended community college in the past 10 years have been selected from the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) AmeriSpeak Panel. Responses are weighted by age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, and census division to benchmarks from the Current Population Survey (CPS) for the population of US adults aged 18+ who have attended community college in the past 10 years. The survey was administered from the beginning of December 2022 through the end of January 2023.

3Labels not included for responses of less than or equal to 1%. Rows may not sum to exactly 100% due to rounding.

4Labels not included for responses of less than or equal to 1%. Rows may not sum to exactly 100% due to rounding.

5Labels not included for responses of less than or equal to 1%. Rows may not sum to exactly 100% due to rounding.

6Labels not included for responses of less than or equal to 1%. Rows may not sum to exactly 100% due to rounding.

7Note that responses are question-specific. Rows may not sum to exactly 100% due to rounding.

8Note that responses are question-specific. Labels not included for responses of less than or equal to 1%. Rows may not sum to exactly 100% due to rounding.

9Labels not included for responses of less than or equal to 1%. Rows may not sum to exactly 100% due to rounding.

10Note that responses are question-specific. Labels not included for responses of less than or equal to 1%. Rows may not sum to exactly 100% due to rounding.