One col­lege leader who urged a focus on post-​​graduation suc­cess was Joseph E. Aoun, pres­i­dent of North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, an insti­tu­tion known for its co-​​op pro­gram, which many grad­u­ates credit with get­ting them on the path to good jobs. Aoun wrote that it was impor­tant to broaden out­come mea­sures beyond grad­u­a­tion rates and to con­sider “the work col­leges are doing to pre­pare stu­dents for long-​​term career success.”

But Aoun cau­tioned against simple mea­sures and stressed the need to develop sophis­ti­cated ways to eval­uate suc­cess. He noted alumni sur­veys not only of salaries, but of career sat­is­fac­tion, “long-​​term return on invest­ment,” stu­dent loan debt-​​to-​​income ratios, and “sense of pur­pose sev­eral years after grad­u­a­tion.” He said that North­eastern and some other col­leges are working on such sur­veys, which could be useful.

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