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YFCS Alumni Survey Highlights Strong Alignment with Career and Online Learning Goals

The Youth, Family, and Community Sciences graduate program publishes a monthly blog written by students, alumni and faculty sharing important topics and helpful resources related to the field of family science. In the June blog post, Associate Professor Annie Hardison-Moody shares results of the Youth, Family, and Community Sciences alumni survey highlighting strong alignment with career and online learning goals.

In Spring 2021, Dr. Annie Hardison-Moody, Dr. Jay Jayaratne, Deidra Craig, and Geri Bushel developed an alumni survey that aimed to understand whether and how Youth, Family, and Community Sciences (YFCS) graduates used concepts learned in the YFCS program in their current jobs.  We started by asking students about where they were employed and then asked them about how the YFCS program impacted their current job performance and tasks. Of the 35 YFCS alumni who graduated with a master’s degree or certificate between 2018 and 2020, 25 alumni completed the online survey (71%).

Some key highlights from this survey include:

  • 23 of 25 students (92%) are employed in full or part-time work outside the home.
  • Of those, 21 of 23 students (91%) are employed in a field related to youth, family, or community sciences.
  • Alumni are employed in a variety of settings, including non-profits (28%), educational fields (28%), extension (21%), research and evaluation (4%), public health (8%), and other settings like police departments, housing authorities, and philanthropy (20%).

The survey revealed that YFCS alumni are making use of what they learned in the program in their jobs. When responding to the question, “how effective do you feel the YFCS program was in enhancing your job performance or skills in their current occupation,” 56% (n=14) of alumni reported extremely effective, 16% (n=4) of alumni reported very effective, 24% (n=6) of alumni reported moderately effective, and 4% (n=1) of alumni reported not effective at all.  And students are using these concepts regularly on the job.  When responding to the question, “How often do you use theories, concepts, or tools learned in the YFCS program in the course of your daily work,” 40% of alumni (n=10) responded every day, 36% of alumni (n=9) responded every week, 12% of alumni (n=3) responded every month, and 12% of alumni (n=3) responded not very often.

We also asked students to tell us how we are doing with delivering online content through our YFCS masters and certificate programs:

  • 54% of alumni rated their online learning experience as excellent, and 42% of alumni rated their online learning experience as very good. 0% of alumni rated their experience as poor or fair.
  • 92% of alumni said that their YFCS courses offered them opportunities for meaningful engagement with their course instructors and faculty members.
  • 100% of alumni felt their YFCS course materials, assignments, and instructor guidance provided throughout the program met their learning needs.

Overall, we are excited to share that the YFCS program is making an impact in the lives and work of our alumni. If you’re interested in an effective, collaborative, and meaningful distance education program to help you succeed in the fields of youth, family, or community sciences, consider joining us in YFCS! Learn more about our program, including how to apply.

Check out the below infographic for more results from the survey.

Infographic created by Angelica Gonzalez.

This post was originally published in Online and Distance Education News.