Walden University, one of the leading providers of online education, has released updated information that tracks its students and alumni, their opinions of the university, and their eventual outcomes. The project, Demonstrating Accountability, Transparency, and Assessment (DATA), provides detailed information about Walden’s students as well as student learning, student and alumni satisfaction, and the social impact of students and alumni in their communities and workplaces.
DATA is part of Walden’s ongoing commitment to communicate information about who its students are, what they are expected to learn at Walden, and how they are applying this knowledge to advance their careers and effect positive social change. The following information is a snapshot of the larger project that can be found in full at www.WaldenU.edu/DATA.
Demographics: Women are leading the way. According to survey respondents, Walden’s total student population is three-quarters female (74.7%), with women representing 65.3% of students in undergraduate programs. Walden graduate students are 42.8% black, 38.4% white, and 8.2% Asian/Pacific Islander, while 39.5% of undergraduates are white, 29.9% are black, and 7.6% are Asian/Pacific Islander. Walden students continue to be most heavily represented in the 30–39 age demographic (33.7%), followed by those ages 40–49 (27.9%), but there is also significant representation among those ages 24–29 (15.8%) and 50–59 (14.3%).
Walden students are satisfied with the university. More than eight out of 10 (86.7%) Walden students who responded to our survey are satisfied or very satisfied with Walden. In addition, a majority of Walden international students (89.4%) are satisfied or highly satisfied with Walden, according to survey results.
They’re developing skills and achieving. Alumni who participated in our survey assessed themselves on a variety of skill sets before and after their Walden experiences. Self-ratings differed at a statistically significant level, showing improvements on each skill, most prominently in conducting mixed-methods research, interpreting published research findings, performing qualitative and quantitative analyses, designing research projects, and leading positive social change. A number of Walden alumni survey respondents have reported achievements such as delivering at least one presentation at a conference (89.3%). In addition, 39.3% have published at least one peer-reviewed article and 30.7% have published at least one article in a trade magazine or journal.
They’re prepared: Walden alumni report a direct impact on their careers. Nearly nine out of 10 (88.3%) alumni survey respondents report that the Walden curriculum was relevant to their work. Nearly three-quarters (72.4%) say they are prepared to pursue professional opportunities in a new area, and 78.9% say their education enhanced their professional performance, according to survey results.
Employers of Walden graduates are pleased. A total of 89% of surveyed employers of Walden graduates reported that they are satisfied or very satisfied with the Walden graduate employed at their organization. Most (77.3%) employers of Walden graduates surveyed say they would hire another Walden graduate. Employers also reported that Walden graduates’ professional skills and performance have improved since attending Walden, including in areas such as oral communication (70.8%), critical thinking (77.5%), developing solutions to organizational problems (81%), analyzing issues from multiple perspectives (79.5%) and written communication (72.3%). In addition, a majority of employers surveyed (80.5%) say they believe online degrees are equal to or more valuable than degrees earned in a face-to-face setting.
Walden alumni are effecting positive social change. Part of Walden’s mission is to provide a diverse community of career professionals with the opportunity to transform themselves as scholar-practitioners so they can effect positive social change. Three out of four (74%) Walden alumni survey respondents report that Walden has helped them effect social change to a very great, great, or moderate extent. Walden alumni who responded to our survey also have a 66.4% average rate of volunteerism.