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Increasing Number of UW-Eau Claire
Graduates Stay in Wisconsin
MAILED: Oct. 24, 2002
EAU CLAIRE — Nearly 73 percent of the students graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2001 are living in Wisconsin, according to a recent alumni study.
Of the 1,849 students graduating from UW-Eau Claire in 2001, 1,345 of them are living in the state, the study indicates. The percentage of students remaining in Wisconsin in 2001 is the highest of the 13 years included in the study, up significantly from 1989 when only 56 percent of the graduates remained in Wisconsin.
“These numbers support our belief that UW-Eau Claire is playing an increasingly important role in Wisconsin’s long-term economic well-being,” Chancellor Donald Mash said. “We are providing students with an exceptional education, and an increasing number of those students are choosing to stay in the state to live and work after graduation. We are instrumental in educating Wisconsin’s workforce and community leaders of the future.”
Wisconsin higher education officials have stated often in recent months that the UW System is part of the solution to Wisconsin’s fiscal problems. Providing the state with human capital goes a long way toward building a strong economy, Mash said.
“When the state of Wisconsin invests dollars in the UW System, it is investing in its future,” Mash said. “The return on its investment is staggering when you think about how much our graduates contribute to communities and employers throughout Wisconsin.”
The alumni study also shows that a growing number of UW-Eau Claire alumni are calling the Chippewa Valley home. Nearly 20 percent of the graduates from 2001 now live in Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls or Menomonie.
“The Chippewa Valley is attracting a good number of our graduates,” Mash said, noting those numbers would likely increase if UW-Eau Claire secures additional resources to help meet the region’s employment needs in high-demand fields such as computer science, nursing and education. “We have employers who are looking for skilled employees and many students who would welcome a chance to stay in the region. We need resources to help students gain the skills they need to fill those jobs.”
The Chippewa Valley Initiative — a $1.2 million investment by the state in UW-Eau Claire that enables the university to increase the number of graduates in computer science, software engineering and management information systems — is an example of the school’s commitment to meeting regional needs, Mash said.
“The Chippewa Valley Initiative will allow even more of our alumni to begin their careers here,” Mash said. “And, hopefully, enable our high-technology companies to expand their jobs here.”
The alumni study shows that UW-Eau Claire’s commitment to helping connect students and Wisconsin employers is paying off, Jeanne Skoug, director of Career Services, said of the growing number of alumni living in Wisconsin.
Career Services’ staff works with area employers to help them connect with UW-Eau Claire students, Skoug said. For example, the university helps employers arrange interviews on or off campus and encourages students in all majors to include their resumes in an electronic database employers can review, she said.
UW-Eau Claire also has worked with employers to increase the number of internships available to students, and internships often lead to full-time job offers, Skoug said. In addition, Career Services regularly meets with classes, student organizations and individuals to help make students in all majors aware of employment opportunities in the region and state, she said.
“There are wonderful opportunities in the Chippewa Valley and throughout Wisconsin for graduates in all fields,” Skoug said. “Our goal is to connect employers and our students so they can take full advantage of those opportunities.”
About 25 percent of UW-Eau Claire’s students come from Minnesota thanks to a reciprocity agreement allowing Minnesota residents to pay in-state tuition fees at UW-Eau Claire. Since a quarter of the university’s students come from Minnesota, it’s not surprising that about 27 percent of the alumni move out-of-state, with many of them living in the Twin Cities area, Mash said.
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: October 24, 2002