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Survey shows Monmouth excels at preparing graduates

Barry McNamara
MONMOUTH, Ill. – Medical student Brad Dulee ’17 is part of another successful graduating class at Monmouth College.

According to the annual survey conducted by the College’s Wackerle Career and Leadership Center, 99 percent of Monmouth’s Class of 2017 was employed or in a graduate or professional school six months after graduation.

Seventy-nine percent of the class’s graduates who’ve been placed have begun their professional careers, while Dulee is among the 21 percent enrolled in graduate or professional education. A biochemistry major, Dulee is studying at the University of Illinois College of Medicine.

Members of the Class of 2017 are pursuing careers at numerous companies, non-profit organizations and government agencies. Among the professional landing spots for the Class of 2017: Abbott Laboratories, Pella Corp., State Farm, Caterpillar, Children’s Home and Aid, and Archer Daniels Midland.

Several members of the Class of 2017 are graduate students at Big Ten universities, including Penn State, Illinois, Iowa and Maryland. Others are studying at such schools as the University of Florida, the University of California-Davis, Oregon State University and the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

This is the sixth consecutive year Monmouth’s graduating class has achieved a 99 percent placement rate. Wackerle Center Director Marnie Dugan said that rate is even more impressive when compared to the national average.

Understanding the data

The national “first destination” rate to be employed or in further schooling six months after graduation is 85 percent, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Also significant is Monmouth’s “knowledge rate” – the percentage of graduates for whom a school has knowledge about concerning first-destination career outcomes, such as work or graduate school.

The national knowledge rate is 63; the knowledge rate for Monmouth’s Class of 2017 is 81 percent.

“Our statistics continue to outperform the national trends, demonstrating the value of the investment in a Monmouth College education,” said Dugan. “Throughout campus, we all work together to ensure a positive outcome for our students. Time after time, we see that our graduates are not just getting a job, but they are taking positions that put them on a meaningful career path.”

Monmouth also outperforms the national trend for internships. Four out of five members of the Class of 2017 had at least one internship during their four years. That topped the national internship rate of 63 percent.

“Students continue to take a very proactive approach to their job search, including utilizing the services of the Wackerle Center,” said Dugan, who noted the center’s services are free to students and alumni. “More than 80 percent of the Class of 2017 had been served either through individual appointments or program attendance by early April of their senior year. We have the opportunity to really get to know the seniors, which helps us to provide a very personalized approach to their planning for meaningful careers, including accessing the alumni network for internship and job opportunities.”

A handful of Monmouth’s 2017 graduates decided to take a gap year to further explore areas of interest, while service opportunities such as the Peace Corps were also popular.

“Our graduates are able to do those types of things because of the confidence they have in their Monmouth College education,” said Dugan. “They know that they were well prepared here and they will still be received well by employers or graduate schools in the months ahead.”

Telling Dulee’s story

Dulee said his preparation in Monmouth’s classrooms and through the Wackerle Center helped get him where he is today.

“Due to the small class sizes and the ability to talk to professors, I was always able to drop in and ask about anything,” said Dulee. “This led to a deeper understanding of a lot of the content which, in turn, led to me being prepared and knowing a lot more of the material that we have built upon even in this first year of school. I know that I would not have gotten that same one-on-one experience with professors at a larger institution.”

Dulee worked closely with the Wackerle Center to ensure that he put his best foot forward after college.

“They were able to help me with the application and interviewing process,” he said. “They also looked over my résumé when I was attempting to find clinical experience. They were able to evaluate my résumé from a professional and personal level. That led to me being able to create ‘my story,’ which was critically important throughout the medical school application process.”

Dulee, who had an impressive résumé of curricular and cocurricular accomplishments, said the help he received from the Wackerle Center in interviewing took him to another level.

“One thing that really helped me on my journey to medical school was the ability to practice the interviewing process,” he said. “I have never been very good about talking about myself, but after our session of common medical school interview questions, I felt prepared to sit in front of the interview committee and tell my story.”

Dulee said his Monmouth experience was also enhanced by involvement in several cocurricular activities.

“My experience at Monmouth saw me step into numerous leadership roles in the various groups that I joined,” said Dulee, who was an all-conference soccer player. “Starting in my freshman year, I was on executive boards that pushed me to test my leadership abilities and eventually prepared me to lead going forward.”