Student Success and Institutional Effectiveness

Dominican is proud of our students’ achievements and the success of our programs. The University has internal processes for assessing student learning and assuring program quality, and we adhere to standards and processes established by our regional and programmatic accreditors.

Student success and institutional effectiveness go hand in hand at Dominican. Institutional Effectiveness encompasses a wide range of equity-based evaluation and assessment activities for the purposes of active reflection, strategic planning, and continuous improvement.

There are four sections describing our data:

  • University Facts
  • Student Learning
  • Student Experience and Achievement
  • Career Outcomes

University Facts

The University Facts provides a comprehensive look at who our students are and what they study, as well as their persistence and completion rates. 

VIEW ALL University Facts

Student Learning

At Dominican, students explore purpose and meaning through breadth of knowledge in general education and a depth of knowledge in majors and graduate study. Learning outcomes are important in developing and assessing students’ knowledge, skills, and abilities as they advance through the core curriculum, as well as within their specific fields of study.

The Institutional Learning Outcomes represent our commitment that every Dominican Graduate will have the opportunity to gain knowledge, skills, and personal capabilities throughout their studies and experiences.

Goal: Exploration and Acquisition of Knowledge

Goal: Practice of Civic Skills and Social Responsibility

Students explore: 

Purpose and meaning through breadth of knowledge in general education and a depth of knowledge in majors and graduate study.  

Students gain skills to become global citizens who act within diverse contexts. 

Students practice:

  • Ethical reasoning
  • Leadership and collaboration
  • Commitment to sustainability and social justice
  • Intercultural understanding and respect for difference 

Goal: Development of intellectual, professional and artistic skills

Goal: Cultivation of Well-Being

Students prepare for a successful life and career through research and practical application of skills.

Students develop: 

  • Critical thinking and creative expression
  • Qualitative and quantitative reasoning
  • Effective communication
  • Information literacy

Students engage in personal development to build resilience and support the flourishing of self and others. 

Students cultivate: 

  • Mental, physical, and spiritual health
  • Respectful relationships and empathy
  • A habit of mind for lifelong learning


Each undergraduate and graduate program has a link to their learning outcomes on their program page as well as the course catalog. 

View Course Catalog

Dominican students have multiple opportunities to make their learning visible. The pages below highlight some examples:


Student Experience and Achievement

During their time at Dominican, students are immersed in personal development opportunities to build resilience and support the flourishing of self and others, while becoming prepared for a successful life and career through research and practical application of skills. Through the four high-impact practices of the Dominican Experience, as well as additional opportunities to engage more broadly with the campus and the greater community, students are empowered to persist and complete their degree.

The Dominican Experience is designed for the twenty-first century student –– the thinker, the doer, the artist, the activist, the trailblazer, the entrepreneur –– from every walk of life.

Learn About the Dominican Experience

Engaged learning is an area of distinction for Dominican. Students have multiple opportunities to participate in research, events, community service, groups, clubs, activities, and more. The pages below highlight some examples:

What is the NSSE? 

The National Survey of Student Engagement collects information about first-year and senior students' participation in programs and activities for their learning and personal development. The results give a picture of how undergraduate students spend their time and what they gain from attending Dominican. 

Senior engagement in high-impact practices

Percentage of senior respondents who reported participating in the following high-impact practices (HIPs) during their time at Dominican:

Participation in 2+ HIPs 85%
Community-Based Project/Service-Learning 80%
Internship or Field Experience 79%
Culminating Senior Experience 64%
Research with Faculty 47%
Learning Community 42%
Formal leadership role in student organization/group 38%

Areas of greatest gains from Dominican education:

Seniors reported that their  educational experience at Dominican contributed most positively to “Thinking critically and analytically,” followed by "Working effectively with others." The table below includes additional areas that were either“very much” or “quite a bit” improved also.

Working Effectively with Others 83%
Thinking Critically and Analytically 87%
Writing Clearly and Effectively 75%
Developing or clarifying a personal code of values and ethics 75%
Understanding people of other backgrounds (economic, racial/ethnic, political, religious, nationality, etc.) 75%
Speaking clearly and effectively 74%

Career Outcomes

Dominican educates and prepares students to become ethical leaders and socially responsible global citizens who incorporate the Dominican values of study, reflection, community, and service into their lives. Upon graduation, alumni enter a variety of fulfilling career paths and/or courses of study to continue their education.

Read about recent alumni success in our News Hub.

Read Alumni Stories

All information for this section sourced from public LinkedIn profiles for undergraduate Dominican alumni who graduated between 2017 & 2021 (data captured July 2022).

Top industries of employment include:

  • Hospital and Healthcare
  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Accounting
  • Higher Education
  • Health, Wellness and Fitness
  • Medical Practice
  • Nonprofit Organization and Management
  • Broadcast Media
  • Public Policy
  • Public Relations and Communications

Select employers include:

  • Academy of Art University
  • Adventist Health
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Bay Area Community Resources
  • Bay Area Healthcare Center
  • BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc.
  • Buzzfeed
  • California State Assembly
  • Canal Alliance
  • Catholic Charities
  • Children's National HospitalCommunity Action Marin
    County of Sonoma
  • Dominican University of California
  • Genentech
  • John Muir Health
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Kentfield Rehabilitation & Specialty Hospital
  • Marin Community Clinics
  • Marin County Sheriff's Office
  • Marin General Hospital
  • Mayo Clinic
  • Microsoft
  • Nonprofit Intelligence Partners, LLC
  • Oakland Unified School District
  • Regional Medical Center of San Jose
  • Santa Clara Valley Medical Center
  • Stanford Children's Health | Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford
  • Stanford University School of Medicine
  • Sutter Health
  • Tesla
  • UC Davis Health
  • UCSF Medical Center
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
  • University of Michigan
  • University of San Francisco
  • University of Southern California
  • VCA Animal Hospitals
  • Willamette University

Top areas of study for Dominican graduates who continued their education in graduate programs include:

  • Occupational Therapy
  • Biology (General or Other)
  • Business Administration and Management or Business Analytics
  • Healthcare (Leadership or Other)
  • Nursing (Family Practitioner or Other)
  • Education (Teaching/Administration)
  • Psychology (Clinical/Counseling/Applied)
  • Physical Therapy
  • Law
  • Medicine

Select Graduate Schools include:

  • Academy of Art University
  • Dominican University of California
  • Samuel Merritt University
  • San Francisco State University
  • Sonoma State University
  • The George Washington University
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, San Francisco
  • University of Denver
  • University of San Francisco
  • University of Southern California
  • University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences
  • University of the Pacific
  • University of Washington School of Law
  • Vanderbilt University Law School

Graduates indicated their “Problem-solving" skills were most transformed as part of their Dominican educational experience. Additional skill areas viewed as improved either “Quite a bit” or "Very much" are listed below.

Problem-solving 97%
Teamwork 90%
Integrative thinking 83%
Creative thinking 80%
Preparation for graduate school 76%
Preparation for current career 73%
Civic Engagement 72%

Attaining Institutional Learning Outcomes

Students who graduated in 2020-21 reported they made the most progress in the "Development of Intellectual, Professional, and Artistic Skills" Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs) while at Dominican. See below for the percentage of students who Agreed or Strongly Agreed with the related ILO statements.        


Prepared for a successful life and career through research and practical application of skills (Development of Intellectual, Professional, and Artistic Skills) 96%
Engaged in personal development to build resilience and support the flourishing of self and others (Cultivation of Well-Being) 92%
Explored purpose and meaning through breadth of knowledge in general education and a depth of knowledge in my major (Exploration and Acquisition of Knowledge) 92%
Gained skills to become a global citizen within diverse contexts (Practice of Civic Skills and Social Responsibility)  83%

All information for this section was reported by 2020-2021 Dominican graduates who participated in HEDS Alumni Survey within one year of graduation.

Meet the Team

Lisa Nicholls headshot

Lisa Slater Nicholls

Solutions Architect
Yuti Huang headshot

Yu-Ti Huang, PhD, DMin, EngD

Director of Institutional Research
Leah Ozeroff headshot

Leah Ozeroff, EdD, MA

Director of Educational Effectiveness

Alumni Success Stories