Albion College Pledges to Take Care of Graduates

By: Alex Goldsmith Email
By: Alex Goldsmith Email

Rebecca Satawa is a junior at Albion College with a dream.

"I'm dreaming about radio. My dream is to go into the radio business," said Satawa.

She's two years away from graduating into a particularly scary job market. According to the Economic Policy Institute, 9 percent of college graduates younger than 24 are out of work. That's the highest rate in 25 years. Meanwhile, tuition for Albion College's liberal arts education sits just north of $30,000 a year, making the price tag tough for some parents to afford.

"Michigan is going through a very, very difficult time right now," said Mary Jones, Albion College's Director of Career Development. "We saw that some students were struggling."

"We at this college determined we needed to do something different, something bold in order to attract and retain Michigan students," said Donna Randall, Albion College's President.

That's why Albion College instituted the Albion Advantage Pledge this semester. It's a promise to incoming students that the college will support graduates in very concrete ways. If students are out of work 3 months after graduating in May, they are eligible for career help which could come in the form of an extra semester of tuition free study or a research assistant position at the school.

But the Albion Advantage is a two-way promise. Students have to fulfill their end of the bargain as well. They need at least a 3.0 GPA and have to go through at least one of what Albion calls an "experiential learning opportunity", which could be an internship or study abroad program. Additionally, the pledge part of the Albion Advantage only applies to freshman.

But even juniors like Satawa have been inspired by the new program. She visits the Career Development Office once every couple of weeks just to check in. And after a recent internship with several radio stations this summer, her dedication could pay off come graduation. But after her experience this summer, does Satawa still want to be in the radio business?

"More than ever," said Satawa.

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  • by DM on Sep 24, 2010 at 06:30 AM
    "Albion is a joke" "Albion graduates sub-standard students?" These are unfounded claims. Albion is a great school. I go to it. It's ranked by Princeton Review as one of the best in the Midwest, and it's consistently ranked in the top 100 liberal arts schools in the nation. This article fails to mention that the tuition is more than $30000, but Albion offers more financial aid than state schools. I pay less money going to Albion with academic scholarships than if I went to the University of Michigan. And, small classes, great internships, and caring for its students combined... those are the traits of a REAL school that actually cares for its students. I've been to other schools where I've taken classes, where I outperformed everyone academically including their own seniors! Albion College is devoted to critical thinking and has graduates in high places and doing great things in the world. Dick and Kelly, please do research before making aggressive claims.
  • by Mark Location: Lansing on Sep 4, 2010 at 08:23 AM
    Great report - hope more institutions follow their lead. News 10 reporter Goldsmith, who I think is new is fantastic - great voice. Long overdue for News10 to upgrade their reporters - keep it up and please - more Goldsmith!
  • by Kelly Location: Lansing on Sep 3, 2010 at 10:48 AM
    Albion has a reputation for having a dummied-down curriculum and graduating sub-standard students. Additionally, in past years (unsure if the practice continues today), they were very proud of their reverse-racism policy of charging white students thousands more in tuition than their minority counterparts. As long as Albion continues with its low standards, they will continue to have a poor reputation, which does absolutely nothing to further their students' futures.
  • by Andy Location: Okemos on Sep 3, 2010 at 06:16 AM
    Albion has a fine tradition of successful students. Many students pay much less than 30k because of scholarships, and graduates are competitive for jobs like any other Michigan school. Negative attitudes are part of the symptom of the poor job market out there (Dick), but those students who stay positive, have worked hard in school, and look hard for work are finding jobs. This new program is exciting. I hope it brings a revitalized spirit to Michigan and Albion.
  • by Dick Location: Alb on Sep 2, 2010 at 06:48 PM
    Albion is a joke and a waste of $30000. Go to a real school where you can save money and have a realistic chance at getting a job.
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