IU East alumni indicate education is worth the cost according to Gallup survey

A majority of surveyed Indiana University East alumni feel that their undergraduate college experience was worth the cost, helping alumni to lead a fulfilling work life and to their overall well-being, according to a recent survey. IU East was one of 13 colleges and universities to participate in the first Gallup-Indiana Graduate Satisfaction Survey. The Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE) released the survey results on June 13.

More than 80 percent of respondents from the 13 participating public and private colleges throughout the state indicated their education was worth the cost.

With funding support from USA Funds, Gallup and the Commission, the survey reached out to more than 22,000 college graduates from the Indiana colleges that volunteered to participate in the pilot year of this first-in-the-nation, statewide look at alumni satisfaction.

IU East Chancellor Kathryn Cruz-Uribe said, “By participating in this survey, we have a better indication of what we have done or are now doing to provide our students a meaningful college experience. While there are areas we know we can improve, we can also see where our efforts are enhancing the lives of our students yet keeping the cost of an education in line.”

The web based survey was conducted from February 1 to March 1, 2016. The online survey was completed by 292 IU East graduates with a baccalaureate degree from a wide variety of academic programs offered by the university from 1980 to 2015. The study measured workplace engagement, well-being and alumni attachment to the university.

Notable results for IU East indicate that alumni feel that the university was supportive of their education. Forty-four percent of alumni strongly agreed that their professors cared about them as a person, 35 percent strongly agreed faculty members provided encouragement as mentors and almost three quarters of alumni (72 percent) strongly agreed they had at least one professor who made them excited about learning.

According to survey results, alumni have an emotional attachment to the university based on their undergraduate experiences and how they now feel about IU East. Fifty percent of the respondents strongly agreed that IU East was a perfect school for people like them, compared to 33 percent in the Gallup-Purdue Index national measure. Additionally, 34 percent strongly agreed that they couldn’t imagine a world without IU East. The two indicators of emotional attachment show that 32 percent of graduates feel an emotional attachment to the university, compared to 19 percent nationally.

Alumni were also asked about their education and if they felt the cost of their degree was worth it. Of the participants, 48 percent responded that they strongly agreed they were satisfied with their education while another 36 percent agreed. As far as expenses, 81 percent of alumni felt their education was worth the cost (53 percent strongly agreed while 28 percent agreed).

Sixty-eight percent agreed or strongly agreed that they felt prepared for life outside of college while 71 percent agreed or strongly agreed that they are deeply interested in the work that they do.

Forty-nine percent of the respondents indicated they received support from outside of the classroom that helped them to graduate while at IU East. Another 28 percent indicated they had received help finding an internship.

Sixty-seven percent of alumni agreed or strongly agreed that IU East is passionate about the long-term success of its students. As undergraduate students, 80 percent of alumni responded that they were challenged academically at IU East (41 percent strongly agreed while 39 percent agreed).

IU East alumni indicated that they are satisfied with their well-being. Accordingly, 85 percent said they were satisfied with their personal life. Overall, 44 percent of respondents strongly agreed that they are deeply interested in their work and 31 percent strongly agreed they have the ideal job for them. Of the alumni who completed the survey, 47 percent said they are working in a job that is completely related to their undergraduate major. Another 34 percent indicated their major is somewhat related to their job.

The 13 colleges participating in this pilot survey included: Ball State University, Butler University, Calumet College of St. Joseph, Grace College, Indiana University East, Indiana University Kokomo, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, Ivy Tech Community College, Manchester University, Marian University, Taylor University, Vincennes University and WGU Indiana.

The Gallup-Indiana Survey was inspired by the Gallup-Purdue Index. This partnership between Gallup and Purdue University surveyed more than 30,000 college graduates to measure the relationship between a college degree and long-term graduate well-being and workplace engagement.

Results of the survey for IU East are available on the Indiana Commission for Higher Education website at http://www.in.gov/che/files/GPI_Scorecard_IUE_New_Updated_Final.pdf.