2.2.1 Purpose of an alumni association.Developing active alumni begins prior to graduation (Johnson&Eckel,1997).Alumni are one of the most important assets to any institution. They thebackbone to the success of the prevalent representation of the institution in thereal world. According to Arceo, alumni serve as a bridge between the institutionand their graduates.
Strong relationships between the alma mater and alumni positivelyimpact alumni involvement and alumni contributions (Petit,197;Duronio&Loesin,190). Many alumni networks were initially started fromregional groups of alumni brought together for university fundraisingactivities. Later, these networks slowly gained added importance in thedevelopment of the universities because of their enormous outreach potentialthat benefits the university and helps current students in their career paths.Alumni are the core group of constituents and largest source of voluntary support. “In 1994, alumni contributedmore than 58 percent of the total support for higher education, while non-alumnicontributed 23 percent. Alumni have givenmore philanthropic support than non-alumni every year since 1980, except in 1984.”- (Horton). According to Moser, alumni were responsible for fully one quarterof all private voluntary support of higher education (1993).
And in a study on thevoluntary support of education, the Council for Aid to Education reported that themajority of financial contributions came from alumni (Morgan,1995). The alumnigroups have been in existence for decades and they are constantly changing withtime. In the present landscape of technological and social change, importanttransformations are underway in terms of how we live and work. We refer tocontemporary times as the “information age” or “knowledge based society”,characterised by the diffusion of information and communications technologies(ICT’s) and the increasing demand for new educational approaches and pedagogiesthat foster lifelong learning (Fischer & Konomi, 2005). There have beenvery big changes in the recent years with the development of the internet andsocial networking that forces the alumni system to undergo huge changes.
Emergingtechnologies such as social networking software enable new and uniqueopportunities for the mentoring and retention of information technologygraduates. Therefore, it is really important for institutions to focus on thealumni networks and find ways to enhance their growth and development. The activity of asocial network can be described as the act of sharing business or socialrelationships with the purpose of exploring the needs, interests or commongoals. Relationship networks have been facilitated by the development oftechnology in a way that people can interact with each other, sharing ideas,discussing their personal or professional lives, without the need of traveling.According to Chia et al.
(2012),data from alumni networks can be used to enhance mentoring programs, to developonline networking and above all, they could be key components of maintainingstudents and strengthening university programs. The authors clarify thatinitially, alumni networks emerged as regional groups to raise funds, however,they gained importance for their potential to promote the name of theuniversity, which benefits the career of all the alumni as well as currentstudents. In summary,there are myriad number of reasons why there is the need for alumni groups orassociations in our society.
As stated above earlier by Barnard, alumni are oneof the most important resources to colleges, universities, senior high schools orinstitutions in general. They are a source of continual involvement by returningto campus and participating in events. They are a vital source of financial supportingespecially when higher education expenses are costly due to economic andpolitical factors we sometimes face in the country. Due the established relevanceof alumni association, there is a need to develop a software that will easilyfacilitate, maintain and manage alumni groups and their resources to be able toattain the maximum benefit we can derive from the alumni for the institutions’well-being.
Alsoabout the role of this type of professional, Brantand Regan (2002) state that they are in the connections business and throughthese connections they promote the advancement of the institution, but it isoften difficult to measure the impact of the work, requiring additional effortto asses and quantify the points of contact with the alumni. The framework is fit for changing over the gatheredinformation from the normal client and machine communications in to the viabledata which later on is utilized by the leaders to settle on productive choices.Inthe management information system, the most important entity is system itselfwhich is set of defined and interrelated components which are generallydescribed as all of the direct or indirect complex components or elements thatare related in a casual network. Within any particular time period, all ofthese complex components are related in more or less stable way with at leastsome other components (Thierauf 1984).
So a very much created and intuitive framework is one whichgives best and valuable data to the directors at all levels.2.1.1What is a system?The system is capable of converting thecollected data from the routine user and machine interactions in to theeffective information which later on is used by the decision makers to makeefficient decisions. In the management information system, the most importantentity is system itself which is set of defined and interrelated componentswhich are generally described as all of the direct or indirect complexcomponents or elements that are related in a casual network.
Within any particulartime period, all of these complex components are related in more or less stableway with at least some other components (Thierauf 1984). So a well developedand interactive system is one which provides best and useful information to themanagers at all levels. 2.2.
2 What is an Alumni system? Alumni systems are web-based information systems which aremade by an academic institution to keep up relations with its students afterthey graduate. Institutions utilize the system to gather graduate informationand sort out outreach exercises. These systems gather data about the presentarea, work environment, work data and even side interests of the graduatedclass. Below are some core concepts of an alumni system. · Informationabout the University · Gettingmembership in the site · Invitationto events · Pledgingmoney for the university · Receivingnews letters · Somespecial benefits 2.
2.3 Traditional Alumni Systems Prior to the internet revolution, institutions had limitedways to engage their former students. Communications were through postal mail,letters or magazines and since the alumni are likely to be geographicallyscattered in search of their own careers, the institutions ‘efforts to reachalumni was affected by publication and mailing costs. Most communication were informativein nature and not interactive. Alumni interest and participation in universitynews or its affairs was usually higher in individuals who were stationed withina geographic proximity to the university, or in people who se family or friendsstill study at the university. Following the internet revolution, though official alumnisystems were put in place, most of them were an add-on to university websitesand not a lot of alumni would get involved with it.
These early alumni systemssuffered from sever al drawbacks. The focus of early alumni systems was mostlyfor collecting university funds and due it its rudimentary structure offeredlittle to no channels for interactive communication. In addition, the number ofalumni actually participating or retaining university relations was only afraction of the total alumni population due to limited access or technologicalmeans to use alumni systems.