Alumni & Retention Initiatives

Part III of the Alumni & Recruitment Efforts series is taking a slight turn to open up other ways to engage alumni in the campus community long after they have graduated.  One way of continually engaging alumni is through retention initiatives.

One initiative that engages alumni in the retention efforts is the opportunity for alumni to become involved in a conference designed to assist students in the transition from student to professional.  This opportunity was implemented at my undergraduate institution and was very popular.  Not only was it popular with the alumni who gave presentations, it was a success with the students as well.  This gives alumni the chance to present on their experiences and offer tips and advice to students who are preparing to graduate and enter the working world.  Another initiative that allows alumni to engage with students is the program “Dinner with a Dozen Grizzlies.”  This event gathers current students, staff, and alumni at a volunteer’s home to enjoy a potluck meal, network with new people, and meet people from different areas of campus.  This gives current students another avenue to become involved on campus and get to know faculty and staff on a different level.  These initiatives are just a few examples of how alumni can remain involved with the institution’s community long after graduation.

For many programs designed to engage alumni in recruitment and retention activities, support is only offered from one department.  At my undergraduate institution, the program was started off a two year grant that applied for by the admissions and alumni offices.  The coordinator was involved in events and meetings with both departments.  Having buy-in from both departments allowed for the program to grow and with the hard work by the coordinator and student assistants, the program became permanently funded in the summer of 2010.

I hope my posts regarding alumni & recruitment efforts have sparked some ideas for others.  Please join #EMchat on Thursday, April 5, 2012 at 9:00 p.m. EST/8:00 p.m. CST as we discuss alumni in the recruitment process.   Until next time…