Hello, my name is Professor Cathy Day, and I’m the Director of the Humanities Compass Advantage in the College of Sciences and Humanities.

I’m here with a simple message to anyone who graduated in December 2021 or who is graduating in May or July 2022: please take the Ball State Senior Survey when it shows up in your email inbox on April 29. It will be available until May 27.

The email will come from Brian Pickerill in Institutional Research, but just pretend it’s from me. The subject is ‘Congratulations on your graduation!’.

The email will ask you for a forwarding email address. And I want you to give one. Because if you do, they will send you more surveys!

Yes, for the first few years after you graduate, you’re going to get the Ball State Alumni Survey—when you’re one year out of school, three years out, and five years out. And I want you to take all those surveys, too, when they start arriving in Fall 2022.

Why take these surveys?

The alumni survey tells us a lot about your life after college. Where you work. Whether it’s full time or part time. How long it took you to get that job. And how satisfied you are with that position.

Ideally, we want you to move directly from college into a job that requires a college degree. When that doesn’t happen, this is called being “underemployed,” and a recent study shows that over 40% of college graduates are underemployed in that first post-college job.

An important goal of the Compass Advantage is to reduce underemployment by helping graduates find better jobs faster. We do that by making the available career pathways for humanities majors more visible.

We want students to know “what’s out there” for them early so that they can try out a few options, add a minor or a double major, take an immersive-learning class, pick up some skills on Udemy, and/or connect with some alumni on that pathway.

After you graduate, if you have trouble finding a job you enjoy that requires a college degree, consider using Cardinals Connect. Reach out to alumni in fields that interest you and ask for advice.

And if you do find a job you enjoy, awesome. Join Cardinals Connect and say you’re “Willing to help” the next cohort of Cardinals coming up behind you. I’m teaching a career class for English majors in Fall 2022, and they need to interview alums. I’d be grateful if you made yourself findable!

Survey Fatigue

We’re bombarded with customer satisfaction surveys at every turn. And here comes your alma mater, too, asking for your feedback. And there’s not even a chance to win a prize. Why should you do it?

Because we will read what you have to say.

Seniors, in the years ahead, we’re going to need your stories (via Cardinals Connect, which you can do right now) and we’re going need your numbers (via the Ball State Senior Survey, which you can do on April 29, and via the Alumni Survey, which you can do this fall.

Thank you for your time.

For more information about the Compass Advantage, visit our website.