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Mark Son–Staff Writer
On May 10, Dordt graduates will walk to the B.J. Haan Auditorium and receive their diplomas. On November 19, before Thanksgiving, a mass email was sent to Dordt seniors telling them that if they are unable to get jobs after graduation, positions will be made available in Student Services, the Advancement Office, and other Dordt departments.
The Advancement Office announced this new policy in order to maintain one of Dordt’s most highly valued statistics: its 99.7 percent career outcome rate of graduates.
Over the years, the rate has remained constant. It is also the highest in the country – beating Ivy League schools like Harvard.
“The higher the percentage, the more we can get prospective students to attend Dordt,” said Mr. Van Calvin, head of the Advancement Office. This is important as the rate of students applying to Dordt is slowing down, while arch-rival Northwestern College’s application rate steadily increases.
“We need more students to come here. We cannot have that school in Orange City trying to poach our students. We must defend our title. After all, we are the Defenders.”
Senior graduates have responded with satisfaction. Many are happy that Dordt is giving them a safety net which other colleges fail to provide.
“We all have student loans to take care of. I personally owe $40,000,” said Brad Van Brad, a senior studying engineering at Dordt. “With the job market being tight, I can begin to pay back my loans.”
Van Brad said that it has become increasingly difficult for Dordt students to get outside jobs after graduation.
“I think the after-employment rate is most likely around 50 percent after you leave Dordt,” he said.
He went on to say that Dordt is really providing a holistic approach in helping the development of its students.
“We are not just getting an education. We are also getting a full work experience. And we are given the opportunity to give back to the college what we got from it.”
Mary Old, who is newly married and works in Student Services, is grateful for the opportunity. She has always wanted Dordt to begin advertising the opportunities at an earlier stage in the job hunt.
Old studied plant science at Dordt. In her years at Dordt, she was involved in a lot of Dordt-related activities, such as helping to organize events.
“Dordt is my life, I will do anything to help the college.”
Old plans to work at Dordt for three years, then complete her masters at Dordt, and eventually teach again at the institution.
Dordt administration is pleased that a lot of its students are remaining on campus after graduation. After all, 98 percent of Dordt employees were once students at Dordt.
“We are comfortable in hiring people who truly understand our beliefs and have deep, rich knowledge in the teachings of Kuyper and Calvin.”
As Dordt continues to advertise its 99.7 percent career outcome rate, questions remain regarding how many people are being employed in their fields. A few students question the integrity of the statistic.
“So, are we going to Dordt just to forever be at Dordt?” asked Mark Moon. Moon is a senior who is studying animal science. “Actually come to think of it, with all the core classes we have to do – it makes sense. We are being taught how to continually live at Dordt.”