- 36% of alumni from current Big Ten schools had applied internship
- Current Big Ten schools trail in teachers caring about students
With teams from the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences playing Monday night in the college football national championship game, Gallup looks past the gridiron and reviews research from the Gallup-Purdue Index to gain a better understanding of the experiences alumni from those conferences' institutions had while attending their alma maters.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Graduates who received their degrees from current Big Ten Conference universities since 1990 are more likely than alumni of other large public and private universities to say they had an internship or job while in school that allowed them to apply their classroom learning. More than one in three Big Ten alumni (36%) strongly agree they had this opportunity as undergrads, compared with three in 10 graduates of large universities.
The group of Big Ten alumni includes graduates of all the current 14 member schools, ranging from long-time members: Purdue, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Wisconsin and Ohio State -- to more recent additions: Penn State, Nebraska, Rutgers and Maryland. Big Ten grads are also more likely to report taking part in these types of internships or jobs than graduates of schools from similarly structured conferences, such as the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big 12, the Pac-12 and the Southeastern Conference.
The findings come from 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 access to the Internet. 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.
Big Ten Alumni Able to Apply Learning, but Less Likely to Feel Cared About
Big Ten alumni are more likely to report that they applied what they were learning in the classroom in an internship or job situation, but their recall of interactions within the classroom are somewhat lacking. Current Big Ten alumni are half as likely to strongly agree that their professors cared about them as individuals as alumni of large universities (22%). They also trail alumni from peer conferences on this measure.
Gallup research indicates that students who had an applied job or internship while in school were far more likely than those who did not to have felt prepared for life outside of college and more likely to be engaged in their current job. But while Big Ten alumni compare favorably with other grads on this internships measure, the perceived lack of caring from their professors is a negative, as the 2014 Gallup-Purdue Index report finds that having a professor who cared about them as a person increases grads' odds of being engaged at work by nearly two times. For Big Ten alumni, these two metrics are in opposite standing when compared with their counterparts from other conferences and large universities. While it appears that Big Ten alumni are able to apply their classroom learning at greater levels, they are not feeling cared for by those teaching those lessons.
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 size of 717 current Big Ten alumni, the margin of sampling error is ±5.8 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.
For results based on the total sample size of 6,253 large university graduates, the margin of sampling error is ±1.9 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.
For results based on the total sample size of 1,634 peer conferences, the margin of sampling error is ±3.8 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.
The Gallup-Purdue Index sample was compiled from two sources: the Gallup Panel and the Gallup Daily tracking survey.
The sample of Big Ten alumni includes graduates of all the current 14 member schools, ranging from long-time members Purdue, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Wisconsin and Ohio State to more recent additions Penn State, Nebraska, Rutgers and Maryland.
Learn more about the Gallup-Purdue Index methodology.