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The UTC Graduate School is pleased to announce that Jacquelyn Johnson will present Doctoral research titled, A Study of Higher Education Alumni Perceptions of Digital or In-Person Engagement on 06/13/2023 at 9:00 ET in Zoom Meeting ID: https://tennessee.zoom.us/j/96677661772. Everyone is invited to attend. 

Learning and Leadership

Chair: Dr. Elizabeth Crawford

Abstract:
The purpose of this study is to investigate the preferred methods of communication and alumni engagement of higher education institution alumni donors in an era with increased social media and electronic communications. During and after the COVID-19 pandemic, Alumni Relations Offices (AROs) were challenged with a changing world environment and new ways in which people were interacting with each other and especially their alma maters. Through a quantitative formatted questionnaire and qualitative focus groups, a Stratified Alumni Engagement Model is suggested to create a varied engagement approach for AROs. This research is based upon the social exchange theory, the theory of planned behaviors, and the discretionary collaborative behavioral theory. Each of these theories were investigated in terms of how they relate to the alumni/university relationship. The research questions were developed based upon these theories. Throughout the research, it was determined that there is a relationship between certain alumni demographic information and preference on in-person or virtual engagement. It was also found that alumni who are engaged with the university have a higher propensity to make a gift. Alumni or donors who identify with a higher education institution are more likely to donate and support the institution through nonfinancial means such as volunteerism. Additional findings of this research include that alumni prefer a range of communication preferences. The research also found there is a relationship between alumni engagement and alumni giving.

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