Case Studies & Interviews

Hear stories from institutions like yours who have overcome obstacles through data. Become cross-campus champions of student success for Career Services, Institutional Research, Advancement, Alumni Relations and more.

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With Data, Everybody Wins: How Georgia Southern Un...

One important aspect of the Steppingblocks onboarding process is sharing the data with faculty, staff, and students across campus. This summer and fal...
  • Richelle Hurley
    January 22, 2024 3:27:30 PM EST . 4 min read

Leveraging Data for Graduate School Success with Karen DePauw

Dr. Karen DePauw, Vice President Emerita and Dean Emerita of the Graduate School at Virginia Tech, has joined the team at Steppingblocks to become a Senior Advisor.
As Senior Advisor, Dr. DePauw will guide the Steppingblocks team on how our solutions will best provide value to higher education and how to navigate challenges universities face surrounding graduate and career outcomes for students.

Dave Ramsey, Vice President for Client Solutions and Jacob Bonne, Analytics Consultant, sat down with Dr. DePauw to talk trends, challenges, and solutions facing graduate schools in 2022. 

Graduate education is important in helping colleges/universities achieve their missions of education, research and engagement during their time as a student.  And it’s important that the institutions have data about the success of and further contributions of graduate alumni.  Graduate Deans need to be at the table in discussion of data to provide a broader perspective of the institution and its missions and accomplishments. 

Click here to watch the recording.


1. Articulating the impact of graduate education on state, region, and institution. 

Undoubtedly, graduate education provides significant impact on society. The contributions of graduate students include knowledge production and dissemination, contributions in the workforce (across the full spectrum from STEM to arts, humanities, education, health and medical professions, social sciences, counseling, business and more), the economy, and community engagement. Data is helpful to understand the impact of graduate education of the institution, its missions and accomplishments (research, education, innovation, public service) and the reach beyond the institution and local level.

Learn more about the contributions of research universities.

2. Analyzing graduate student outcomes for program review and professional development.

Data can inform and illuminate, especially when undertaking official program reviews of degree programs and accreditation (disciplinary, regional institutional). It can help address issues of success, quality, and relevance when exploring the alignment between program outcomes and workforce needs. Furthermore, data can support student success and professional development opportunities for graduate schools by connecting alumni with internships, potential employers, mentors, advisory groups, teaching courses, and more.

Ultimate Guide: What is Student Success?

3. Strategies to strategically grow enrollment and launch targeted recruitment efforts.

Through data, institutions can identify under-employed or employed-out-of-field bachelors graduates who would benefit from additional graduate education. By strategically targeting alumni through student success driven initiatives, universities can strengthen their programs through intentional growth. Further, universities can leverage alumni outcomes data to identify workforce trends when scaling enrollment and recruitment efforts.
Learn how to leverage data to support recruitment efforts.


How are you leveraging graduate outcomes data?

Graduation outcomes have become increasingly important to higher education. Universities across the country are leveraging outcomes data to make strategic decisions or support their student success initiatives.

For example, Florida International University is leveraging data in their efforts to support alumni success. Georgia State is putting data-driven career roadmaps in the hands of every student as part of their leadership on the Taskforce of Higher Education and Opportunity.

Interested in how you could leverage Steppingblocks? Explore now.

What is Steppingblocks for students?

Research your future career with real-world stats about your major, your interests, and your job title. Turn billions of data-points into actionable insights about your future with a few simple clicks. Watch the video to find out how.