Post Graduation Plans

Transitioning from Post-Graduation Plans to a First Destination Survey

In December 2016 UW-Madison launched a new pilot of a First Destination Survey, designed to streamline reporting of future plans for our bachelor’s degree recipients.  The First Destination Survey meets guidelines for first destination reporting recommended by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) and will allow for standardized reporting around what bachelor’s degree recipients next plans are after graduation.

Reports from the pilot launch of this survey will be available in late Spring 2017.

Post-Graduation Plans Questionnaire Information and Data

The undergraduate post-graduation plans questionnaire, first implemented in December of 2008, is designed to serve as an institutional exit survey for graduating seniors. The questionnaire, delivered on-line, meets reporting requirements for the Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA)/College Portrait, and has the potential to meet federal reporting requirements.

Students who intend to graduate in a Fall or Spring term are sent an e-mail prior to the end of the term asking them to respond to a questionnaire that appears in their MyUW student portal. Responses are voluntary and only accessible to authorized university personnel.
Responses are loaded into InfoAccess (the UW-Madison data warehouse) nightly during the collection period.

After degrees are posted, generally March for December graduates and October for May graduates, the questionnaire responses may be combined with degree data for analysis.

Highlights for 2015-16 graduating seniors:

  • 53% of 2015-16 graduates (Summer 2015, Fall 2015, and Spring 2016 graduates) responded to the questionnaire.
  • 96% plan to work or attend graduate school, with 91% of graduates planning to work full-time or attend graduate school full-time.
  • Graduates reported learning gains since beginning at UW-Madison on every question designed to measure the essential learning outcomes (ELOs).
  • Among graduates who plan to work as their primary activity, 64% had already accepted an offer or had received offers but not yet accepted an offer.
  • 46% plan to work in Wisconsin after graduation; another 13% were undecided on where they would work.

Reports and Summary Data

Academic Planning and Institutional Research (APIR), has summarized results from the post graduation plans questionnaire for each survey year, as well as some initial analysis by disciplinary division and for selected majors. The Tableau visualization below allows for users to navigate between by-major data and by school/college data for those majors and schools/colleges with at least 35 graduates. Links to PowerPoint slides and Excel files summarizing data are included below the visualization.

How do I get access to my program data?

Those individuals with access to UW-Madison student record data via InfoAccess may request access to the Stdnt_Post_Grad_Plans_Ugrd data view and create their own analyses for program-level data. Access to degree award data views is required.  Basic queries are also available via the Query Library.

The above Tableau data visualization also provides interactive information for any major with at least 35 responses, and an accompanying Excel file allows you to download data for your program.

For programs that need assistance with analyses, Academic Planning and Institutional Research may be able to summarize data at the major or school/college level. Please contact Sara Lazenby for assistance.


Screenshots of the questionnaire, as seen by students (version implemented in April 2014)

Additional Information and Reports