Many judge the value of a college degree using measures such as graduates' employment and starting salaries. As it turns out, having a job and making money doesn't tell us much about graduates' success in their lives. The ultimate outcome of an education is not just about grades or money -- it is about having a great job and living a great life.

Gallup is leading an important initiative in higher education to create a process of continuous improvement to put strengths-based strategies in place that drive great jobs and great lives for college graduates. Our work with colleges and universities is grounded in more than four decades of research and discovery; we are committed to building a better benchmark for engaging students.

Well-Being University Certification

The Well-Being University Certification recognizes universities as a "Well-Being University" for their outstanding focus on student and employee well-being. Gallup created this new certification program based on research from two partnerships that focus on life outcomes for citizens and graduates: the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index and the Gallup-Purdue Index.

Findings from the Gallup-Purdue Index reveal that, on average, 11% of all U.S. college graduates are thriving in all five elements of well-being, and more than one in six are not thriving in any of these elements. These measures of well-being are important because they are predictive of vital outcomes such as worker productivity, absenteeism and healthcare cost burden, among many others.

Several leading colleges and universities already have begun their path to certifying their institutions as a Well-Being University. Among them is George Mason University, which recently adopted a new strategic plan to become the first certified Well-Being University in the world. Gallup will independently measure George Mason University's efforts.

College Engagement

Gallup is uniquely positioned to help universities create cultures of engagement for students and employees. Faculty and staff engagement has high correlation with student engagement, which can have an effect on great jobs and great lives. Backed by decades of science and innovation, Gallup's employee and student engagement surveys give university leaders the vital data they need to create actionable plans for improvement.

Individual Strengths Development

Higher well-being and engagement are driven by each person's ability to lead with strengths and do what he or she does best. Gallup has found that people who focus on their strengths every day are six times as likely to be engaged in their jobs and they are more than three times as likely to say they have an excellent quality of life. A pioneer in the strengths-based movement, no organization is more qualified than Gallup to help universities implement a strengths-based culture. Our StrengthsQuest Operating System empowers students to discover their strengths and align them with career and personal success.

Improving Long-Term Outcomes

The Gallup-Purdue Index offers institutions a unique and much-needed opportunity to discover what life is really like for their graduates. Launched in 2013, the Gallup-Purdue Index is the first-ever measure of college graduates' long-term success in pursuing great jobs and great lives. The Gallup-Purdue Index gives university leaders an in-depth look at their graduates and provides research-based insights to better position their institutions with important audiences, including college-bound students, parents, and employers.

The Gallup Higher Education Difference

  • 80 years of forward-thinking polls, analytics, and advice for higher education
  • Benchmark study of college graduates in the U.S. through the Gallup-Purdue Index
  • Largest sample of higher education leaders through the Gallup-Inside Higher Ed College and University Presidents Panel

Gallup Knowledge