The Relationship of Organizational Identity and Alumni Participation Interest Among Online, Non-Traditional, Undergraduate Students at a Southeastern Private Religious University

Mary Carol Hendrick

Document Type Article


Colleges and universities depend heavily on alumni participation in the areas of financial contributions, positive advertising, and student recruitment. As higher education institutions increase the number of fully online programs, it is important to ensure that students feel a sense of connectedness to the university. The purpose of this study is to determine if there is a correlation between non-traditional, online, undergraduate students’ sense of connectedness to their college and their subsequent interest in alumni participation after graduation. This research provides information that would fill a gap in the literature on the correlation between perceptions of identity when related to a university that they attended completely online as a non-traditional student and its impact on their interest in alumni participation. The non-traditional graduate sample (N=110) provided a population from which to collect data by the use of two online surveys, the Organizational Identity, Distinctiveness, and Prestige Scale (OIDPS) and the Alumni Interest Survey (AIS), sent out by email through the university alumni association. Pearson Product-Moment was conducted to determine if a correlation existed between online graduates’ sense of connectedness to their institution and their subsequent interest in alumni participation. Further, the sample was then looked at from a gender perspective to determine if there was a difference between males and females. All three hypotheses were found to have a statistically significant correlation. Recommendations for future research are to determine if the same results are true at non-religious based universities who also offer completely online degree programs, as well as conducting a qualitative study to determine what non-traditional online students are looking for from their university alumni association participation.