- SEC graduates more likely to be emotionally attached to school
- SEC alumni more likely to feel prepared for life after college
- Alumni attachment related to well-being, workplace engagement
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Even though they are no longer students, nearly three in 10 graduates of Southeastern Conference universities still feel a strong emotional connection to their alma maters. In fact, alumni attachment among graduates of the 14 universities currently in the SEC is nearly twice as high as that of graduates of other four-year colleges and universities nationwide (18%).
Alumni attachment among SEC grads also compares favorably with alumni attachment among grads of schools that make up similarly structured conferences, such as the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big 12, the Big Ten and the Pac-12, as well as larger universities nationwide with enrollments of at least 10,000 undergraduates.
Gallup explores the connection between college graduates and their alma maters by looking at their level of agreement with two questions: "[College name] was the perfect school for people like me" and "I can't imagine a world without [college name]." Four in 10 SEC grads strongly agree that their college was the perfect school for people like them, and 38% strongly agree that they can't imagine a world without their school. This compares favorably against the 32% of non-SEC college graduates nationally who strongly agree that their college was the perfect school and the 22% who strongly agree that they can't imagine a world without their school.
These results are based on the Gallup-Purdue Index, a joint-research effort with Purdue University and Lumina Foundation to study the relationship between the college experience and college graduates' lives. The Gallup-Purdue Index is a comprehensive, nationally representative study of U.S. college graduates with Internet access. According to a 2013 Census Bureau report, 90% of college graduates in the U.S. have Internet access. Gallup conducted the Web study Feb. 4-March 7, 2014, with nearly 30,000 U.S. adults who had completed at least a bachelor's degree.
The sample of SEC alumni includes graduates of all of the current 14 member schools, ranging from original members Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana State, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Tennessee and Vanderbilt to more recent additions Arkansas, South Carolina, Missouri and Texas A&M.
SEC Grads More Likely to Feel College Prepared Them for Life
The 2014 Gallup-Purdue Index report finds that the odds of alumni attachment improve nearly nine times if graduates can strongly agree that their school prepared them well for life outside of college. Similarly, the report shows the odds of emotional attachment to a school are eight times greater if graduates strongly agree that their college is passionate about the long-term success of its students.
Slightly more than one in three SEC grads strongly agree that their college prepared them well for life outside of school, and more than one-quarter strongly agree that their college is passionate about the long-term success of its students. SEC alums are more likely than other graduates nationally to strongly agree with both statements.
Gallup research finds that alumni who are emotionally attached to their school are twice as likely to be thriving in all elements of well-being and are twice as likely to be engaged with their jobs. Considering that the 14 schools making up the SEC each count their living alumni in the hundreds of thousands, the implications of improved emotional attachment among SEC grads -- institutionally, at home and at work -- are evident.
The alumni attachment to their school among SEC graduates may compare favorably with that of graduates nationally. But the Gallup-Purdue Index data show that the universities within this conference have plenty of areas on which to concentrate relative to helping their graduates prepare for great jobs and live great lives, such as building closer relationships with professors and mentors on campus.
Results for this Gallup-Purdue Index study are based on Web interviews conducted Feb. 4-March 7, 2014, with a random sample of 29,560 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.
For results based on the total sample of bachelor's degree or higher respondents, the margin of sampling error is ±0.9 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.
The Gallup-Purdue Index sample was compiled from two sources: the Gallup Panel and the Gallup Daily tracking survey.
Learn more about how the Gallup-Purdue Index works.