Alumni survey shapes key initiatives at Illinois College


A survey of Illinois College alumni collected valuable feedback that has shaped and continues to guide the College’s strategic vision.

“We asked alumni to share their thoughts about Illinois College last year and how they want to engage with the College,” Katie Carls, executive director of advancement and alumni engagement at IC, said. “We are listening to our alumni community and excited about the future.”

The survey showed some positive trends in alumni opinion of the College. Notably, 93% rated their decision to attend IC as good to great, 95% describe their experience as a student as good to excellent, and 91% of respondents highly regard their overall current opinion of IC as good to excellent. 

Based on survey results, there were five main takeaways about what alumni hope for in the future: 

  • Alumni want to know that their degree is valuable and that IC is focused on increasing the value of that degree.

  • They want to hear stories about how an IC education enhances a person’s career.

  • Many expressed a desire for more opportunities to mentor and help current students.

  • It is important that the Alumni Association play a meaningful role in what is currently happening on campus.

  • The IC alumni community wishes to hear about events and what is happening on campus even if they aren’t able to attend.

Carls explained that several of the key findings have already started to shape the day-to-day focus of her office and have been incorporated into regular communications to alumni. 

“If you follow the alumni community pages on social media or read the communications we send, you will see these takeaways reflected in the work we are doing,” she explained.

There are also several initiatives planned for the coming year, including the launch of an IC mentorship/networking program, expanded in-person event offerings, increased opportunities to hear from alumni who are leaders in their fields and new ways for alumni to share their photos and memories of the College. Alumni can expect more frequent invitations to connect with students and learn about what is happening currently on campus. A greater focus will also be placed on the Alumni Association, a 27-member board that meets regularly throughout the year to focus on enrollment, engagement and employment. 

Carls said that she is especially excited to grow the connections between alumni and current students, which is widely beneficial to the entire IC community and can expand a student’s perspective about their relationship to Illinois College. 

“I hope today’s students see that their connection to Illinois College lasts well beyond commencement day,” she said. “Being engaged with alumni who were once in their shoes can be inspiring, give them insight into their future careers and lay the foundation for lifelong ties to the College.” 

Learn more about the Illinois College alumni community at

About Illinois College

Founded in 1829, Illinois College is a residential liberal arts college fostering academic excellence rooted in opportunities for experiential learning while preparing students for lifelong success. The college is located in Jacksonville, Illinois. With an enrollment of more than 1,000 students, the college offers over 50 undergraduate programs. In 1932, the society of Phi Beta Kappa established a chapter at Illinois College, and it remains one of only 11 in the state.

Illinois College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

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