Saint Michael’s Alumni Outcomes Surpass Comparison Groups
Results from a recent study of Saint Michael's College alumni show that they exceed their peers from other institutions in nearly all elements of well-being and workplace engagement.
Saint Michael's College President John J. Neuhauser said the results of the study, initiated by the College to learn how the institution might improve outcomes, are evidence of the lasting influence of the quality education and unique community experience provided at Saint Michael’s. Gallup uses results from a national study of college graduates, the Gallup-Purdue Index, which provides insight into the relationship between the college experience and these long-term impacts of well-being and employee engagement, as a basis of comparison.
“We entered into this collaboration with Gallup confident that we would see our hard work and our approach validated not just in a job after graduation, but in enduring effects that are 20 or 30 or more years out,” the president said. “However, learning that our alumni are thriving in all five well-being measures at nearly twice the rate of each comparison group was a surprise.”
Gallup defines individual well-being in terms of five interrelated elements: purpose, social, financial, community, and physical. The Gallup study shows the College’s alumni are far more likely to be thriving in four or more of the five elements of well-being compared with all comparison groups and college graduates nationally.
President Neuhauser said that, as nice as the results are, it was not the reason the College undertook the study. “As a liberal arts institution, steeped in the Catholic intellectual tradition, a key element of our new strategic plan is to further improve outcomes for graduates and the positive impact they then have on society.”
In addition to its findings on the well-being of Saint Michael’s alumni, the research study revealed that the College’s alumni were employed full-time for an employer at higher rates than alumni from the four comparison groups. St. Mike’s alumni from 2000 to 2015 compared even better, far outpacing alumni comparison groups.
While employment is certainly important, the study also revealed that Saint Michael’s College graduates who are employed full-time were more engaged at work than those from comparison groups, as measured by Gallup’s employee engagement metric. Gallup’s research indicates that “people who are engaged at work are more involved in and more enthusiastic about their work . . . more intellectually and emotionally connected.”
Director of Business Intelligence Mary Jane Russell, chair of the Saint Michael's College team that worked with Gallup, said the study “provides us with actionable data that the College will learn from and use to improve our educational and co-curricular programs. We believe this data will only become richer as we use it to inform our planning processes and to inspire new conversations among faculty and staff – leading to new ideas and insights that will further enhance the transformational student experiences we are known for at Saint Michael’s College.”
The Saint Michael's College findings were released this month in a report titled Great Jobs, Great Lives. The research conducted by Gallup, the American research-based, global performance-management consulting company that provides strategic consulting and global analytics. As part of this study, 3,371 alumni who received bachelor’s degrees from the College between 1950 and 2015 were interviewed via Web, in English only from Sept. 21-Oct. 21, 2015. Alumni were included in the study if the College had a valid email address on file. Results for the Gallup-Purdue Index, the national study used for comparison purposes, are based on Web surveys conducted December 16, 2014-June 29, 2015, with a random sample of 30,151 respondents with a bachelor's degree or higher, aged 18 and older, with Internet access, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Saint Michael’s College alumni were compared with college graduates nationally who received their bachelor’s degree between 1950 and 2015, as well as graduates from four different groups of institutions across the country, including a custom group of peer and aspirant institutions.
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