Students satisfied with Oregon universities


CORVALLIS - A bachelor's degree from one of Oregon's seven public universities seems to put graduates on the success track, a new study suggests.

"One Year Later: The Status of 1994-95 Oregon State System of Higher Education Bachelor's Graduates," was presented today to the State Board of Higher Education. It focuses on state college graduates six to 12 months after graduation.

The report gives a favorable grade to the state's higher education system, said Andrew Hashimoto, associate provost for academic affairs at Oregon State University.

"I would say that our graduates are very satisfied with their education and most are employed," Hashimoto said. "This seems to be the bottom line for most students, getting a good education and finding a job after graduation."

The study surveyed 2,736 bachelor's graduates from OSU, Eastern Oregon University, Oregon Institute of Technology, the University of Oregon, Portland State University, Southern Oregon University and Western Oregon University.

OSU graduates were the most likely to rate their education as being very helpful in performing their job and were among the least likely to rate their education as being not helpful at all, the study found.

OSU graduates were also among the most likely of those students at the largest universities to have worked in an internship program.

More than 8 out of 10 of Oregon graduates find employment within a year of graduation, the report noted. At the state's two largest public institutions, 81 percent of University of Oregon graduates and 87 percent of OSU graduates are employed within one year.

Majors offering the best chance for employment, the study found, are engineering, computer science, agriculture and forestry - all with 93 percent of graduates employed. OSU and Portland State are the state's leading engineering and computer science schools, and OSU has the state's only major programs in agriculture and forestry.

Of the state's largest schools, both OSU and Portland State graduates are the most likely to earn more than $25,000 a year, the report said.

Majors in which bachelor's graduates are employed at lower-than-average levels include social sciences, at 81 percent, and liberal arts at 79 percent.

Graduates rated state universities as offering very good to excellent educations, with OSU, Western Oregon and Eastern Oregon receiving the top ratings. Liberal arts, math and science majors tended to be most satisfied with their educations; business and social science majors the least satisfied.

Most state system graduates - 75 percent - are employed in Oregon, many of them near their home campuses.