Bellarmine University has released the results of its annual “First Destination Survey,” a deep-dive look at graduation outcomes for the most recent graduating class.
The results reveal that Bellarmine’s graduates out-perform graduates from competing institutions in critical areas of importance, including higher levels of employment and higher wages. See a visual summary of the data
“Bellarmine closely measures what matters most, our student success,” said Matt Real, director of Career Development at Bellarmine. “Each year, graduate data confirms our liberal arts curriculum, coupled with a strong emphasis on experiential,
hands-on learning, nets enviable results. Our students are prepared for a competitive job market and a life well-lived.”
Bellarmine closely measures student success by tracking and analyzing the outcomes of its graduates on a regular basis. Through a process of ongoing and iterative outcomes assessments, this student data is used to continually improve the strategic design
of academic and career-development programs. Faculty, staff and administration rely on these key performance indicators to monitor strategic goals and ensure continuous improvement.
Bellarmine consistently tracks positive career outcomes, including annually finding that 98% of graduates report working or continuing education within 6 months of commencement. A whopping 95% of graduates are pursuing full-time opportunities in their
career field of interest.
Student-athletes are particularly well-represented in these statistics, with 100 percent of them reporting career success within six months of graduation.
“What students find themselves doing after graduation has a lot to do with the quality of the education they receive,” Real said. “The network of support students receive when they arrive on campus from faculty, staff, alumni, employers
and their peers, creates a student-centered community - a community where students are empowered and nurtured through academic, career and community hands-on experiences, and are guided by individualized attention in and out of the classroom where
they build critical thinking, self-agency, collaboration, character and purpose. With a community committed to equitable and inclusive support, Bellarmine students are unquestionably prepared to successfully transition to the workforce, contribute
to their communities and design a successful life.”
Graduates find career success in a range of industries, particularly in healthcare, business, education, community impact and technology. While 70 percent are working in the Louisville area, you can also find the school’s 2022 graduates within 36
states, plus Washington D.C. and six international destinations.
“These impressive metrics are the result of a university that heavily emphasizes experiential learning and career preparedness,” Real said. “We take pride in ensuring every student has the opportunity to land an internship, develop a
career plan and build a professional network.”
This year’s survey results revealed the highest levels of experiential learning ever with 91% of graduates participating in more than 90 hours of experiential learning, including internships, teaching, clinicals, scientific research and other relevant
“What that tells perspective and current students is that your college experience at Bellarmine is designed to both connect you to your purpose (how you will make an impact or contribution), while preparing you to be career-ready when you graduate,
regardless of your major,” Real said.
That career preparation sets graduates up for tangible results in the work world. Recent graduates report earning more than peers from other universities, with undergrads earning an average of $50,000. Graduate programs grads reported earning an average
Real said another noteworthy trend that these outcomes are becoming more equitable throughout the university’s diverse student populations.
“There are many systemic challenges to equity in the workforce, but how Bellarmine is preparing all students to enter the workforce is evident in our most recent class of graduates,” he said.
In 2022, Bellarmine graduates who are students of color, first generation or Pell-eligible reported only a 0.5 percent difference from those employed or studying full-time in their field of interest. This outcome is up from a 9 percent difference in 2020.
Furthermore, graduate experiential learning or internship completion in 2022 was only a 1 percent difference, compared to 8 percent in 2020.
“Bellarmine has been committed to improving and ensuring equitable career success for all students,” Real said. “There remains a lot of work to do, but Bellarmine has continued to adjust student support, focused on building social capital
and educating all students on the value of experiential learning for future opportunities and success.”