Four-year colleges have long made a high priority of maintaining relationships with their alumni, who offer a durable source of support for their alma maters. That hasn’t been as much the case at two-year colleges, where even what constitutes an alumnus—someone who earned an associate degree? a guy who took a class once?—varies from institution to institution.
The results of a new survey, conducted by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, highlight both the often feeble job that community colleges do in cultivating their alumni and the benefits available to those that do it well.
According to data gathered from 133 institutions that responded to the survey, about 46 percent of community colleges dedicate only one full-time employee to alumni relations. At about 35 percent of colleges, that single employee works part time. The survey also found that community colleges’ alumni-relations staff members tend to be relatively inexperienced: About 50 percent have been in their jobs for two years or less.
Alumni-relations staff members often don’t have much money to spend on outreach. The survey found that the community colleges with annual operating budgets dedicated to alumni relations spent just $23,611, on average. About 40 percent of the colleges surveyed had annual operating budgets for alumni relations of $10,000 or less. <Read more.>