News Brief - 3/21/17 Alumni demonstrate well-being and attachment to the university INDIANAPOLIS 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 across 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. The study supplements WGU Indiana’s strong showing in the Gallup-Purdue Index commissioned by the State of Indiana last year. “WGU Indiana provides better educational outcomes than national averages and a flexible, affordable path to a college degree,” said WGU Indiana Chancellor Allison Barber. “Our graduates are more engaged at work and are more likely to maintain a career in their chosen line of study than graduates of most universities; perhaps most importantly, they are doing so here in Indiana.” Findings were released Wednesday at Gallup headquarters in Washington, D.C., to media, policymakers, and leaders in higher education and workforce development. Joining a panel discussion led by Brandon Busteed, Gallup’s Executive Director, Education and Workforce Development, were Louis Soares, Vice President, Strategy, Research and Advancement, American Council on Education; Cheryl Oldham, Vice President of Education Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Scott Pulsipher, President, WGU; and Kurt Gunnell, Director, Institutional Research, WGU. Per the study: The employment rate for WGU alumni who have graduated within the last five years81 percentoutdistances the national average of 74 percent. WGU graduates said their experience was worth the cost73 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-beingpurpose, social, financial, community, and physical. WGU alumni are almost twice as likely to be emotionally attached to their university than alumni from other universitiesdemonstrating that personal connections are possible in distance learning. “WGU grads are twice as likely than other college graduates to say they had a mentor who encouraged their goals and dreams,” said Gallup Executive Director Brandon Busteed. “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." According to the 2016 Gallup-Purdue Index, 92 percent of WGU Indiana alumni held a job or internship while enrolled and 94 percent of alumni are now employed in the Hoosier State. 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. The full Gallup 2016 report can be found here.