New Gallup Research Shows WGU’s High-Quality, Personalized Education Results in Better Outcomes for Graduates
Compared to graduates nationally, WGU graduates are more likely to be thriving in career, social, financial, community, and physical well-being
LAS VEGAS/RENO – A study released today by Gallup Research found that graduates of Western Governors University (WGU) report significantly higher levels of career success and overall well-being than the national average. Graduates of the nonprofit, online, and competency-based university largely credit their personalized education experience, industry-relevant curriculum, and one-to-one faculty support as key contributors to their success.
Gallup’s survey, which included 2,400 WGU graduates (within 5 years of graduation), compared WGU graduate responses to national data gathered in the Gallup-Purdue Index. The study examined WGU alumni outcomes based on Gallup’s measures of work and life outcomes—including employee engagement, well-being, and emotional attachment to the university. The study provides insights into these outcomes and the graduates’ overall perspectives on their undergraduate experiences.
Key findings include:
• Nearly three-quarters of WGU graduates (72%) strongly agree their degree was worth the cost—nearly double the percentage of college graduates nationally.
• WGU graduates are far more likely to work in jobs closely related to their undergraduate studies—73% compared with the national average of just 42%.
• About eight in 10 (79%) WGU graduates are employed full-time for an employer – significantly higher than the employment rate of nontraditional graduates (those completing degrees at age 25 or older) nationally (63%), and other national comparison groups of college graduates.
• More than two-thirds (67%) of WGU graduates strongly agree they had a mentor who encouraged them to pursue their goals and dreams—nearly double that of the graduates from the survey’s comparison groups.
• Compared with the national average, WGU graduates are nearly twice as likely to be thriving in all five elements of well-being identified by Gallup: purpose, social, financial, community, and physical.
“Because we believe that education provides one of the surest paths to opportunity and a better life, the feedback we receive from this annual survey is very important to us,” said WGU President Scott Pulsipher. “Gallup’s research helps inform ongoing innovation and improvement at WGU to help our students thrive in their careers and in their overall well-being.”
Details of the study’s findings were discussed today at Gallup headquarters in Washington, D.C., by a panel moderated by Gallup’s Executive Director of Education Research Stephanie Marken. Panel members included Inside Higher Ed Editor Paul Fain, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) President Johnny Taylor, and WGU President Scott Pulsipher. A recording of the event is available here.
About WGU Nevada
WGU Nevada is an online, nonprofit, competency-based university established to expand Nevadans’ access to higher education throughout the state. Formed through a partnership between the state of Nevada and nationally recognized Western Governors University, WGU Nevada is open to all qualified Nevada residents. The university offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the high-demand career fields of business, K–12 teacher education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing. Degrees are granted under the accreditation of Western Governors University, which is accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). WGU’s Teachers College programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and its nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)*.
In addition to WGU Nevada, there are five other WGU state-based, state-endorsed universities: WGU Indiana, established in June 2010; WGU Washington, established in April 2011; WGU Texas, established in August 2011; WGU Missouri, established in February 2013; and WGU Tennessee, established in July 2013. For more information, visit the WGU Nevada website, www.nevada.wgu.edu, or call 877-214-7005.
*Western Governors University offers nursing programs that are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 5380, Washington, DC 20036, 202-877-6791).