Our body of alumni now numbers more than 600, many of whom are still actively engaged with our alumni team as they navigate college and careers. We know the support our alumni team provides can make a big difference in how well students adjust to college life and become the first in their families to launch professional careers.
A focus for our team is on our graduates’ “first destination,” or the very first full-time job they secure once they’ve earned their degree. Although national benchmarks around college-to-career transitions are limited, Braven Accelerator, a career readiness program that addresses the education-to-employment gap, notes that only 58% of all college graduates are employed in “quality jobs,” military service or graduate school within 12 months of graduation.
Our own outcomes compare favorably: Of the Eastside students who entered college at the start of our career pathways program, beginning with the Class of 2012 through 2016, 82% were on a professional track (in professional jobs or graduate school) within 6 months of graduation. Our analysis segments professional jobs, excluding positions that do not require a college degree such as retail, caregiving, and landscaping. Lacking the opportunity for an education, our students’ parents typically work these kinds of jobs. So when we celebrate a student’s graduation from Eastside, college degree, and transition to a professional career, we see the true impact of an Eastside education and its power to change the trajectory of an entire family in a single generation.
Here are just a few of our 2017 college graduates who have made the most of their college and internship experiences (many of which were sourced by our alumni team) and are now embarking on their careers: