Alumni report Temple prepared them well
The value of a Temple degree shines in new survey as alumni report meaningful employment and well-being in their communities and social lives.
By all accounts Jaime Earnest, CLA ’07, is thriving. That’s not uncommon for Temple alumni, according to the findings of a new Gallup report that highlights the true value of a Temple education.
Earnest, who grew up in a low-income, single-parent home in the city, didn’t follow the traditional undergraduate student path to Temple. But that didn’t stop her from building strong relationships with faculty mentors who encouraged her to immerse herself in organizations and programs on campus that aligned with her interests and goals.
“Temple has world-class faculty that connected me with a lot of opportunities,” said Earnest. She participated in the university’s honors program under Director of the Honors Program Ruth Ost, CLA ’90, ’94, and the honors program for psychology under Professor of Psychology Kathy Hirsh-Pasek.
With their support, Earnest applied for and won the St. Andrew's Society of Philadelphia scholarship, which required applicants to demonstrate a history of academic accomplishment and participation in extracurricular activities. She credits that experience—which gave her the opportunity to spend a year studying abroad in Aberdeen, Scotland—with launching her educational and career trajectory.
After earning her bachelor’s degree in psychology and cognitive neuroscience from Temple, the Philadelphia native was awarded the prestigious Lord Kelvin/Adam Smith PhD Scholarship from the University of Glasgow, where she earned her PhD in epidemiology and public policy.
“I was not set up in life to be this massive success story,” she said, “but the education and opportunities that Temple afforded me really catapulted me to some pretty extraordinary things.”
Earnest is not alone. Her experience aligns with the Temple alumni who strongly agree that Temple University was the perfect school for people like them.
The success of college graduates like Earnest is often measured solely by salary. That measure diminishes the roles of artists, entrepreneurs, teachers and others whose contributions to society are not reflected in their financial success. To better assess the value of the Temple experience, Gallup conducted a survey of alumni to better gauge the long-term success of its graduates, both at work and in life.
Results of the survey reveal Temple graduates are more likely than their peers at large public universities, and at other high research universities, to have the “good jobs” that Gallup finds are linked to higher productivity and well-being.
“It’s very important to me that Temple alumni do well in all aspects of life,” said Temple President Neil D. Theobald. “This study shows the true value of a Temple degree at home, at work, and in the community, and I am thrilled that many Temple alumni are thriving.”
If higher education does not lead graduates to an engaging job, then it has failed to deliver on a central expectation of students and their families who support them through college. That’s why a top priority for Temple is to provide students with a well-rounded education that prepares them to be real-world ready. The survey shows that when students participate in experiential learning opportunities, such as internships and research, they are more likely to be engaged in their workplaces.
Top findings of the survey show:
- Temple graduates are more likely than their peers nationally, and other high research universities, to have the “good jobs” that Gallup finds are linked to higher productivity and well-being.
- Temple alumni lead other college graduates in strongly agreeing that their university prepared them well for life outside of college.
- Temple alumni are significantly more likely than graduates in any of the comparison groups to be emotionally attached to their alma mater; one in four Temple alumni are emotionally attached, compared with fewer than one in five in the other groups.
- Temple graduates are significantly more likely than graduates in all the comparison groups to be thriving in social and community well-being.
- Temple alumni are likely to recommend their university.
The next generation
In addition to her studies, Merideth Ketterer, Class of 2016, has been active on campus during her Temple experience. Her involvement includes membership in the Delta Phi Epsilon sorority, Golden Key International Honour Society, Public Relations Student Society of American, PRowl Public Relations, Temple Student Government, National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Rho Lambda Honor Society.
As she prepares for her next stop—she’ll be attending the Beasley School of Law in the fall—she reflected on her overall experience as an undergraduate.
“If you want to receive an education, you can go anywhere,” said Ketterer. “If you want to learn in an environment that provides unlimited personal and professional opportunity, you go to Temple University.”
And that’s the experience that’s propelled thousands of Temple alumni into great jobs and great lives.