A study released by Gallup Research found that graduates of WGU Missouri and parent university Western Governors University 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 alumni who graduated within the last five years, 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 the following:
· 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, which is 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.
Details of the study’s findings were discussed last month 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 EditorPaul Fain, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) President Johnny Taylor, and WGU President Scott Pulsipher. A recording of the event is available here. A direct link to the report outlining WGU’s findings can be found here.
About WGU Missouri
WGU Missouri is a competency-based, online university created to expand access to higher education for Missouri residents. The university offers more than 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the fields of business, K-12 teacher education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing. WGU Missouri faculty members serve as mentors, working one-on-one with students, offering guidance, support, and individualized instruction.
Established in 2013 through a partnership with nationally recognized Western Governors University, WGU Missouri is open to all qualified Missouri residents. The university is nonprofit and self-sustaining on flat-rate tuition of about $7,000 per year for most programs.
Degrees are granted under the accreditation of Western Governors University, which is accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Nursing College programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE*), and the Health Informatics program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).
More information is available at missouri.wgu.edu or by calling 855.948.8493.
*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).