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The placement rate for Valparaiso University graduates from the classes of December 2010 and May and August 2011 was 96.1 percent, the 19th consecutive year it topped 90 percent.

Information was gathered through surveys completed at the distribution of caps and gowns, subsequent online surveys, data collected from academic departments, social media, and multiple phone calls and emails to graduates. The placement rate is the percent of the class that is employed or enrolled in graduate school.

Not included in the results are international student graduates and education graduates without a second major.

The placement rate has shown an increase for the second consecutive year, following a slight decline after the economic collapse of 2008. Tom Cath, director of the Career Center, said that this points to the high caliber of graduates from Valparaiso University.

“I think the experience that students get here at Valpo helps prepare them for a wide variety of opportunities after they graduate,” Cath said. “We’re offering a wider variety of programming, trying to give students an opportunity to connect with as many professionals as they can. I think that really helps to differentiate what we can do for our students.”

Services offered by the Career Center include the annual Career Fair and the Graduate and Professional School Fair, as well as panel discussions, networking events, question-and-answer sessions, and résumé assistance as well as career counseling and advising. It is up to the students, Cath said, to take advantage of these opportunities.

“So much of the job search is up to the student,” Cath said. “I think a lot of times people assume that the employers are going to be doing the work and that students don’t have to prepare as much. If students expect to be successful in their internship or job search, it takes effort. It takes time. That effort can help differentiate them from other candidates, because employers see and notice it.”

Valpo graduates are working or studying in 38 states, the District of Columbia, and 12 foreign countries. Of those attending graduate or professional school, 23.1 percent are studying at Valpo. Two respondents are involved in full-time service through the ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission and Faith Alone Lutheran Church, and eight respondents are in the Armed Forces.

The College of Engineering had a 100 percent placement rate, with only one of 67 graduates not responding. Other placement rates include 97.2 percent for the College of Business and 94.3 percent for the College of Nursing.

About Valparaiso University
Valparaiso University is a comprehensive independent Lutheran university with more than 4,000 students on its campus located in Northwest Indiana, an hour from Chicago. Valpo is a community of purpose-driven, service-minded and ethical individuals who embrace the pursuit of truth with freedom, humility and compassion. Valpo has been identified as one of the top master’s-level institutions in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report magazine for the past 22 years. Valparaiso University offers 110 undergraduate academic programs through the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Engineering and Nursing. Valpo also has a distinguished honors college, a School of Law and more than 40 degree and certificate programs in its Graduate School and Continuing Education Division. Valpo has been recognized for its commitment to outstanding teaching, preparing thoughtful leaders with strong cross-cultural skills and global awareness, and dedication to serving others.