Grad employment an amazing 97.3%; Red Dress Gala

Our graduates even more valuable in the workplace


I have some exciting news to report: The employment rate for our most recent graduates continues to increase and has hit an amazing 97.3 percent. That rate is for graduates in August 2014, December 2014 and May 2015.

The employment rate was 97.1 percent for graduates the previous year and 97 percent for the year before that.

I cannot tell you how impressed I am that the success of our graduates in the workplace continues to improve and how much I appreciate the hard work and dedication of our faculty and staff that is required to achieve this level of success. Frankly, I was amazed that our employment rate crept up last year in my first year as chancellor. I am even more impressed that we were able to achieve an even higher rate this year.

The report is compiled every year by our Career Services office, led by Bryan Barts, which does a fantastic job helping graduates find employment. This effort includes coordinating the two career conferences, arranging employer interviews on campus and presenting seminars to ensure students are prepared for interviews, etc.

The office also coordinates our Cooperative Education Program, which sends students into the workplace for a semester for that all-important hands-on experience that often yields a job offer even before graduation.

By the way, participation in co-ops grew for the seventh consecutive year to 1,032 students in 2014-15, compared to 954 the previous year. We had 562 employers offering sites for co-op students, who were paid an average of $14.93 an hour.

Another important statistic that continues to improve is the rate our graduates find employment in their fields of study. That increased to 83.3 percent this year, up from 81.9 percent last year. That statistic is a true measure of how closely we align our undergraduate programs with the needs of our employers. It means that we are producing graduates in fields where our business, industry and other partners have openings and need well-prepared employees.

Here is another interesting statistic from the new report: The number of degrees we granted in 2014-15 increased to 1,614 from 1,519 a year before, making it even more impressive that we achieved record enrollment of 9,535 last fall.

Again, this is major news for UW-Stout — that our graduates are finding even greater success in the workplace after leaving campus. We intend to use this information in a variety of ways, including in our new-student recruitment efforts and to make an even stronger case with our elected officials that UW-Stout is doing all it can to improve the economy of western Wisconsin and the state. (If you want to read some amazing success stories from our May 2015 graduating class, go here.)

Thanks again to everyone on campus who had a hand in ensuring our graduates fare well in the workplace.

Had a great time at sorority’s Red Dress Gala

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Photo courtesy of Max Spooner Photography

My wife Deb and I had a very enjoyable evening Saturday at the ninth annual Red Dress Gala sponsored by the women of Gamma Sigma Chapter of Alpha Phi at UW-Stout in the Great Hall of the Memorial Student Center.

The event is a fundraiser for the Alpha Phi Foundation, which supports improvements in women’s health. It also is a perfect excuse to get dressed up and enjoy dinner, an auction and entertainment, which included the UW-Stout Dance Team.

We had a great time for a worthy cause.