Community Studies Alumni Survey

In 2005 the California Campus Compact commissioned a survey of Community Studies alumni. Nearly 600 of you responded; here are some highlights:

About the Community Studies education, you were enthusiastic. “Doing socially relevant work” had been the top draw, “developing critical thinking” or “connecting theory to practice” came second, and “learning my specific subject” was the most common ‘third objective’ listed. Fully 85% rated field study as excellent or very good; 82% said the same for “integration of academic and community-based learning.”

Since graduating, 60% have earned advanced degrees, including nearly 20 PhDs. Teaching certificates or masters’ in education are the most common, and we found many advanced degrees in applied areas (Urban Planning, MSW, MPH, nursing). But, Community Studies students go everywhere. You are doctors, lawyers, and many kinds of social entrepreneur.

Regarding employment and other engagements, 44% described their current employment as “completely socially relevant.” Half have been involved with non-profits “a great deal,” a fifth have directed one, and fully an eighth of you started one.

Over 30% have participated in service projects such as Legal Aid, Americorps, Peace Corps, Doctors without Borders, etc. A whopping 78% rated their levels of socio-political concern ‘stronger’ or ‘much stronger’ than their neighbors’ and 27% have run for or held elected office.

Overall, your responses show a remarkable and sustained commitment to leadership and involvement in creating better communities, whether that word community is conceptualized as local, regional, national, or global.



Alumni News

Want to share what you’re doing? Post it to the Community Studies at UC Santa Cruz Facebook page or email it to and we’ll include it on the website.

From CMMU Alum Emily Anderson ('06): I am a Community Studies graduate who has spent the last almost ten years since graduating working in restaurants and retail and trying to get jobs that put my degree and interest in community development to good use. You may have heard this story before! Then I realized that these two worlds of retail and community studies can collide in a positive way and that small business, whatever form it takes, can be incredibly impactful and positive for the surrounding community. You add food to that and can support local farmers, helping our local economy and bringing healthy food to the people! So my partner and I opened a neighborhood market in our community and are excited to remedy a food desert situation here in NE Portland, OR. Anyway, I thought you might enjoy my story and I'm proud to be following through on what I studied at UCSC. We're on Facebook too, just search for P's & Q's Market.


Help inspire current and future Community Studies students

All it takes is your phone and a few minutes of your time. Check out our five questions below; think about what you want to say, then use your phone to film your response. When you're done, you can either upload your video to the Community Studies at UC Santa Cruz Facebook page, or send it to for inclusion on the Community Studies website. Thanks!

Five Questions
1. Tell us about yourself-- your name, when you graduated from Community Studies, and the focus of your field study and academic work.
2. Can you tell us about a prized memory of your experience in the Community Studies major?
3. What are you doing now?
4. How do you draw upon your Community Studies major in your professional and/or personal life?
5. What do you want to say to current and prospective Community Studies students at UCSC?

Note: We reserve the right to edit for time purposes only, and will not post anything without your final OK.