Wabash outpaces national average with 100% first destination placement

A member of the Wabash College Class of 2021 celebrates receiving his diploma at Commencement exercises in May. Photo by Becky Wendt, Wabash College Communications. Photo courtesy of Wabash College

Even in challenging times on campuses nationwide, Wabash College continues to deliver at a highly consistent rate for its students.

Six months after graduation, 100 percent of the members of the Class of 2021 have settled into a first destination—employment, graduate school, or service. It marks the fifth consecutive year in which Wabash graduates have claimed their first destinations following graduation at rates among the highest in the nation, a remarkable feat considering the current job market.

Over the last five years, Wabash graduates have secured first destinations within six months at a rate of 99.2 percent, well above the national average of 59 percent at six months.

“With COVID disrupting the economy in ways no one could have imagined when they matriculated, our students graduated in May and within six months, all of them have settled into a meaningful first destination,” said Wabash College President Scott Feller. “It is especially heartening when you realize that our students had to interview for jobs and graduate schools via Zoom. Getting to 100 percent is a tribute to the professional development programs we offer, the education our young men receive, and the meaningful ways they can talk about their experiences.”

The nation’s top-ranked alumni network and No. 3 ranked internship program according to The Princeton Review combines with Wabash’s outstanding liberal arts education to drive its graduates to high levels of success.

“I am delighted for the Class of 2021,” said Steven Jones, Dean for Professional Development. “Through all of the obstacles presented by COVID, these young men persevered and have transitioned into the next chapter post-Wabash College. The support professional development receives from professors, faculty, staff, coaches, alumni, and friends remains phenomenal. Achieving an outcome of 100 percent provides us all with reason to celebrate and demonstrate why Wabash is a special place.”

Due to the work of the Schroeder Center for Career Development, students are regularly engaged in programming that keeps them focused on successful pathways after graduation. Weekly “Coffee and Careers” sessions and employment recruiting events are two of the many opportunities for students to connect with potential employers and graduate schools.

Additionally, the career development staff continues to work with current students to find meaningful experiences over the winter break, including a Professional Immersion Experience (PIE) scheduled for Chicago.

The College’s alumni routinely engage with students–this year both virtual and in person–to help them sharpen interview skills and build a reliable and supportive professional network outside of campus.

“We don’t take this accomplishment lightly,” said Jones. “A great deal of work occurs over four years to ensure we prepare young men to have this degree of success within six months of commencement. As a liberal arts institution, career services will continue to do its very best to provide meaningful experiences and development programs that will lead to ongoing remarkable outcomes.”

The exemplary post-graduate success rates echo much of the news for the 189-year-old liberal arts college. In addition to the internship program and strong alumni network, The Princeton Review spotlighted 10 other areas, called “Great Lists,” that Wabash ranked in the top-30 nationally, including access to professors, career services, great financial aid, classroom experience, and athletic facilities. Wabash was one of seven schools nationally to be ranked on 10 or more of the publication’s lists.

In September, U.S. News & World Report ranked Wabash 20th nationally as a Best Value School and included the institution in the Top Tier of National Liberal Arts Colleges.