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RMU Gallup® Survey Shows RMU Alumni Are More Likely Working Full Time, Engaged at Work than Other College Grads

Monday, June 1, 2015

 

Graduates of Robert Morris University are more likely to be working full time for an employer and more likely to be engaged in their jobs, according to a survey of nearly 1,500 alumni conducted by Gallup.

The online survey of Robert Morris bachelor’s degree recipients from 1970 and beyond, conducted in October 2014, found 77 percent work full time for an employer, versus 63 percent of U.S. college graduates in Gallup’s national database. Strikingly, equal proportions of male and female Robert Morris graduates – 77 percent each – are working full time for an employer, as opposed to the clear gender imbalance seen nationally, with only 56 percent of women with college degrees working full time for an employer compared to 71 percent of men.

Robert Morris graduates are also more likely to be “engaged” in their jobs, based on a set of Gallup measurements of workplace involvement, enthusiasm, and loyalty. While only 30 percent of full-time workers nationwide are engaged in their jobs, and 38 percent of U.S. college graduates with full-time jobs, 44 percent of RMU graduates with full-time jobs are engaged at work, according to the RMU Gallup Survey. Gallup’s research has found that companies that have more engaged employees experience increased productivity and profits.

RMU has partnered with Gallup under the university’s latest strategic plan as a way to hold itself accountable to its students, alumni, policy makers, and the general public. Gallup has identified six undergraduate experiences that have a strong relationship to long-term life outcomes like employee engagement and personal well-being – the so-called “Big Six” -- and these dovetail with RMU’s increasing emphasis on experiential learning experiences in tandem with its professionally focused curriculum.

“The criteria measured by Gallup perfectly represent the complete college experience that RMU offers, including our robust Student Engagement Program,” said RMU President Gregory G. Dell’Omo. “And frankly, I've been preaching this stuff for the last 25 years, and now I actually have data to support what I’ve been saying.”

Gallup's Big Six college experiences:

  • I had a mentor who encouraged me to pursue my goals and dreams.
  • I had at least one professor who made me excited about learning.
  • My professors cared about me as a person. 
  • I had an internship or work experience that applied what I was learning in the classroom.
  • I was extremely active in extracurricular activities and organizations.
  • I worked on a project that took a semester or more to complete.

The RMU Gallup Survey found RMU alumni who graduated in the last five years are more likely to have experienced these six factors than older alumni. For instance, 72 percent of RMU graduates from 2009-14 say they had a professor who made them excited about learning, compared to 56 percent of alumni who graduated from 1970-2000. Similarly, 35 percent of those who graduated in 2009 or later were extremely active in extracurricular activities, compared to 21 percent of those who graduated before 2002.

University officials say the Gallup results validate RMU’s recent strategic focus on engaged learning and efforts to formalize the university’s tradition of providing professional experiences with supportive, mentoring relationships with faculty. The RMU Gallup Survey will help the university target areas for improvement, and plans call for current students to be surveyed as well. Robert Morris is one of 12 universities nationwide to partner with Gallup in this endeavor.

“Coupled with RMU’s consistently high placement rate, the RMU Gallup Survey makes a powerful case that Robert Morris students reap a high return on their investment,” said Wendy Beckemeyer, RMU vice president for enrollment management.

“But we also need to make sure that investment is as affordable and manageable as possible for our students,” said Beckemeyer.

Toward that end, Beckemeyer created the RMU College Affordability Academy™, a training initiative for admissions counselors, financial aid officers, faculty mentors, and student support staff to make the college financing system as transparent as possible for prospective students.

The outcome of the College Affordability Academy is for anyone involved in the recruitment and enrollment process to be able to provide prospective students and their families with unbiased information about student debt and college financing options; students' expected earnings upon graduation; third-party ratings and evaluations of RMU; and the impact of campus employment, study abroad, and internships on the cost of college. Given the university’s emphasis on its graduates’ professional outcomes, the College Affordability Academy also emphasized the importance of connecting students early and often with the Career Center.

“The enrollment team tells and retells the journey of how RMU students achieve such terrific outcomes to prospective families. We also want to be a force for good decision-making when students take their first steps along that journey,” said Beckemeyer.