Full Sail University is required by the U.S. Department of Education and our accrediting body, the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), to regularly report on the job-placement rates of our graduates. You can review Full Sail’s placement rates for our degrees on our Outcomes and Statistics page. The process by which this data is collected and then reported is regulated by guidelines put in place by both the Department of Education and the ACCSC, and is consistent among all schools who report these rates.
With more than 57,000 graduates, 23 bachelor’s degree programs, 13 master’s degree programs, and four certificate programs, the collection and collation of this data is a time-intensive process undertaken by our Career Development department, and the results are audited by the ACCSC. On a regular basis, the ACCSC instructs us to survey a specific cohort of graduates for a particular period, at which point our Career Development department then reaches out individually to each one of the graduates in that cohort to determine their current employment situation.
That employment situation can basically be defined in six categories:
- Graduates who have paid employment related to their specific education (a Film graduate who is a production assistant on a movie would count; a Film grad who works at a video rental store would not count)
- Graduates who have unpaid employment related to their specific education (internships, etc.)
- Graduates who have employment that is unrelated to their specific education
- Graduates who are unemployed
- Graduates who could not be contacted
- Graduates who are “unavailable to the industry” (grads who returned to school or joined the military, international students who returned to their home country, or graduates who are incarcerated, deceased, or have medical conditions that keep them from working)
Although there are many variables here, the actual calculation of the placement rate is fairly simple: Any graduate that falls into categories 2-5 is counted as not being placed, and any graduate that falls into category 6 is removed from the data pool. Only the graduates who have paid employment related to their specific education are counted as being placed.
Let’s look at a purely hypothetical example. Say the ACCSC required us to survey Film students who graduated in 2014, and, for the sake of this discussion (and ease of explanation), let’s just say that there were 100 grads who fit that description and are not “unavailable to the industry.” (Again, please note that this is a purely hypothetical example.)
Counted as placed:
- 72 grads are working on films, at production companies, at television stations, or any other position directly related to the education they received at Full Sail
Not counted as placed:
- 11 grads have unpaid internships on films or at production companies
- 9 grads are working in video rental stores or are selling TVs at a big-box retail outlet
- 5 grads aren’t working at all
- 3 grads could not be contacted
Using these hypothetical numbers in our example, our job-placement rate for the Film program would be 72%. You’ll note that we didn’t count the unpaid interns and the retail employees, and, more importantly, the grads that we could not contact were counted against the placement percentage, not thrown out of the data pool.
Again, these numbers are hypothetical, but hopefully they will allow you to better understand our published placement rates.