WOU ranks high for degree value, graduate employability

Polk County Itemizer-Observer
By Emily Mentzer
May 20, 2014
MONMOUTH — Western Oregon University ranked 85th out of 1,222 schools in the nation for economic value and employability of its graduates by Educate to Career Inc. (ETC).

The ranking is a positive affirmation of Western’s continued focus on student success, said David McDonald, associate provost.

The ETC College Rankings Index examines the quality of students when entering college, total costs related to attending college and the outcomes when students enter the labor market.

“The study results do reflect our student population, including the high number of first-generation students we successfully graduate,” McDonald said.

Adry Clark, director of Service Learning and Career Development at WOU, said employers look for people with a lot of experiences.

“Students at Western are very engaged, both in the community and on campus, which is crucial,” she said. “Employers are looking for that, for people who care about things beyond their own lives.”

Tools such as Wolf Link help students find internships, jobs and volunteer opportunities throughout their university career, Clark said.

Western’s small, supportive and friendly environment draws hard-working students, she said.

“Employers tell us they like the fact that students have been working a while,” Clark said. “They’re not our typical Generation Y. They are not entitled. They know about hard work and working for what you get.”

For more information about the survey, go to www.educatetocareer.org. For more information about Wolf Link, or to post opportunities for students, go to wou.edu/wolflink.

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