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New Study by Gallup Shows WGU Leads Way in Developing Engagement and Helping Graduates Achieve Goals

News Brief - 3/17/17

WGU grads credit their alma mater with providing better experiences and overall value than national average

NEVADA — Gallup has released the results of a new study that compares the satisfaction and overall well-being of Western Governors University (WGU) graduates with graduates from other institutions in the United States. For the third year, the results demonstrate that WGU graduates are more likely to have the jobs they want, feel engaged at work, and have an emotional attachment to the university.

“I just feel better about myself,” said Logan McDaniel, WGU Nevada alumnus. “I feel accomplished, and that is a wonderful feeling. With the degrees that I have earned and plan on earning, I will be well positioned to take on executive level positions in business and IT.”

The findings were released Wednesday at Gallup headquarters in Washington, D.C., to media, policymakers, and leaders in higher education and workforce development.

“WGU grads are twice as likely than other college graduates to say they had a mentor who encouraged their goals and dreams,” said Brandon Busteed, Gallup’s Executive Director, Education and Workforce Development. “Given that Gallup has found this to be the single strongest element linked to long-term success in career and life, it's a hugely positive outcome. It's not about simply having an advisor who provides course selection tips. WGU grads are being inspired and encouraged around their life goals and dreams."

"Right after earning my Master’s degree in Learning and Technology from WGU, I was asked to be my schools Learning Strategist and apply my capstone project into the workforce," said Silvia Mendoza, WGU Nevada alumna. "Having a mentor throughout my Master's program motivated me to finish my two-year program in a year and half, saving me thousands of dollars!"

According to the study:

  • The employment rate for WGU alumni who have graduated within the last five years—81 percent—outdistances the national average of 74 percent.
  • WGU graduates are more likely to be engaged employees—15 percent higher than the national average.
  • WGU graduates said their experience was worth the cost—73 percent compared to 38 percent.
  • WGU alumni are nearly twice as likely as graduates of other institutions to be thriving in all five elements of well-being—purpose, social, financial, community, and physical.
  • WGU alumni are almost twice as likely to be emotionally attached to their university than alumni from other universities—demonstrating that personal connections are possible in distance learning.

“WGU Nevada excels at preparing its students for life outside of college following graduation,” said Chancellor Spencer Stewart of WGU Nevada. “We’re passionate about the long-term success of our students, and they’re passionate about the long-term success of the communities in which they live and work.”

The survey, which included 2,700 WGU graduates, compared the WGU responses to the national data included in the Gallup-Purdue Index. Gallup and Purdue developed the index to examine the long-term success of graduates as they pursue a good job and a better life. The index provides insight into the relationship between the college experience and whether college graduates have great jobs and great lives.

View the 2016 Gallup Report here.

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