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NWTC graduation survey

Are you better off now?

NWTC graduate Joan Koehne The words of President Ronald Reagan popped into my head today when I answered the NWTC graduate follow-up survey. Reagan posed this question: “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” That simple question helped Reagan win the election.

I thought of those words because I am 6 months past my NWTC graduation date, and NWTC emailed me a link to the NWTC graduate follow-up survey. The survey reminded me of graduation day, May 19, and my hectic life as a full-time newspaper editor and part-time college student. Am I better off now than 6 months ago? I would like to think so. I’m getting more sleep and spending my nights and weekends doing something other than homework. That’s a bonus right there!

But the survey didn’t ask about nap time or free time, it asked about my employment and my level of satisfaction with the education I received from NWTC. In an email from Pamela Kuffel, NWTC graduate follow-up specialist, she said the feedback is used to improve academic programs for future students.

Life as an NWTC graduate

Of course, I wouldn’t be blogging about NWTC if I didn’t have a positive experience at the college. I’m one of the graduates who clicked “Highly satisfied” to answer the question “How do I feel about the training I received?” Overall, the instructors knew their stuff and made class interesting and relevant to what I’m doing on the job today. The college was close to home and affordable, with the flexible options I needed as a working woman.

At the NWTC website, I checked the survey results from the Class of 2016, and it turns out that lots of NWTC graduates could be writing this blog because they feel the same way I do about the college. Of the 1,425 graduates surveyed, 98% were satisfied or very satisfied with their NWTC training. I’m a bit envious to report that many NWTC grads are making more money than I am. The median salary of associate degree grads is $39,997. Good for them! I’ll get there eventually.

Itching for a career change

I enrolled in the marketing program at NWTC with the idea of changing careers from print journalism to public relations. Just like 25% of the 2016 NWTC graduates, I was itching for a career change. An even larger percentage of 2016 grads (38%) enrolled for employment-related reasons. Instead of working in public relations, I opened a professional writing business. I credit NWTC with giving me a solid education and the confidence to take my life in a new direction. They say time flies when you’re having fun, and these last six months have flown by so fast. One thing’s for sure — I am better off than I was 6 months ago.