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McPherson College Graduate Career Placement Rate Achieves 98 Percent

Nearly all McPherson College graduates – 98 percent, to be exact – secure a full-time job within six months of receiving their degree.

Katie Sawyer, director of career services, said the high career placement numbers speaks to the value of liberal arts education and MC’s commitment to career opportunities and experiences.

“McPherson College prides itself on providing an education that prepares students for post-graduation success,” she said. “We are excited by these numbers and the success it represents for our recent graduates.”

According to the college’s recent survey of its 2015 graduating class, about three of every five 2015 graduates – 59 percent – had employment lined up even before graduation last May. For the six independent Kansas colleges who track career placement, the average was at 38.7 percent employment before graduation for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Sawyer said that 59 percent career placement rate before graduation – as well as the 98 percent career placement rate within six months of graduation – represent at least six-year highs for McPherson College. The placement rate within six months has been above 90 percent every year since the 2012 graduating class.

For 2013-2014 – the most recent survey available of five Kansas independent colleges – the average employment rate for 12 months after graduation was 83.9 percent. McPherson College’s six-month placement rate was 91 percent for the same graduating class.

Nationally, the employment rate in 2014 for adults 20-24 with a bachelor’s degree or higher was just 75 percent, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Proactively encouraging students to start their job search early was key in reaching 98 percent career placement at McPherson College, Sawyer said, as well as working hard to secure quality internships for MC students.

“The goal of our institution is not only to provide you a well-rounded education, but also ready you for a lifelong vocation,” Sawyer said. “We are preparing students for a career and for life after college.”

The college’s career services office works one-on-one with students to find opportunities for their specific needs and career goals. Starting their freshman year, career services encourages students to take advantage of opportunities to build their resumes. These may include shadowing a physician for medical school applications or working part-time with a local small business.

The college also encourages students at all levels to take advantage of internships and field experiences for professional development. In 2014-15, more than a quarter of all students completed at least one internship or field experience and 78 percent of those who graduated had completed at least one professional development opportunity.

Sawyer said these are experiences employers are looking for in recent graduates.

“Internships are a great way for our students to build skills, apply classroom learning and discover new employment opportunities,” she said. “We believe our emphasis on internships is part of what makes our students stand out and succeed in finding employment opportunities.”

In addition to the outstanding career placement figures, all of the MC students who applied to graduate schools in the class of 2015 were accepted, further demonstrating McPherson College’s commitment and success in helping students to reach their professional goals.

Sawyer works with students on developing their soft skills – such as creative thinking and problem solving – and ensuring that their résumé is complete. She said this has helped McPherson College graduates be competitive for jobs based on the merits of their abilities, even against colleges and universities that rely on name prestige.

“We’ve become mindful of that and tried to prepare students for that,” Sawyer said. “We sit down with every student and help them plan their career path.”