National Survey of Student Engagement

Northern Kentucky University has participated in this national survey across a number of administrations since 2001 as part of a consortium formed by the Kentucky Council on Post-secondary Education (CPE). The consortium consists of every public institution in Kentucky and CPE uses the benchmark scores as a gauge to understand freshmen and senior student experiences. It is also used as an indicator under question four of the CPE Key Indicators of Progress toward Post-secondary Reform, "Are we preparing Kentuckians for life and work?"

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) is designed to obtain, on an annual basis, information from scores of colleges and universities nationwide about student participation in programs and activities that institutions provide for their learning and personal development. The results will provide an estimate of how undergraduates spend their time and what they gain from attending college survey items on The College Student Report represent empirically confirmed "good practices" in undergraduate education. That is, they reflect behaviors by students and institutions that are associated with desired outcomes of college.

The NSSE is a national survey that asks freshmen and seniors to reflect back on their experiences and behaviors during their first and final years at Northern Kentucky University. Northern Kentucky University uses the NSSE to examine the levels of student engagement for the freshmen and senior classes.

The NSSE explores student engagement from two perspectives; what students do and what institutions do. The first is the extent to which students are engaging in educationally purposeful activities (e.g., hours studying per week, asking questions in class, synthesizing information across courses, etc.). The NSSE examines these types of activities because there is research that suggests engaging in these types of activities will have a positive impact on student outcomes (i.e., persistence, graduation, and overall academic achievement). The second approach examines the extent to which NKU has policies and practices in place that help guide students towards these types of educationally purposeful activities. Educationally effective institutions are able to channel their students towards these types of activities.

Kentucky's eight public universities participated in the 2003 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) as part of a consortium organized by the Council. The NSSE examines the extent to which colleges use their resources to promote effective teaching and learning.

Quick Facts About the Survey

Project: National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)
Project Support: The NSSE was launched with support from The Pew Charitable Trusts and is currently self-supported through institutional participation fees. Project research is also supported by grants from Lumina Foundation for Education and the Center for Inquiry in the Liberal Arts at Wabash College.
Survey Name: The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)
NSSE Director:

Alexander C. McCormick

Survey Design: National design team chaired by Peter Ewell, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems
Administration: Indiana University Center for Post-secondary Research in cooperation with the Indiana University Center for Survey Research
Objectives:

The National Survey of Student Engagement(NSSE) is designed to obtain, on an annual basis, information from scores of colleges and universities nationwide about student participation in programs and activities that institutions provide for their learning and personal development. The results will provide an estimate of how undergraduates spend their time and what they gain from attending college. Survey items on The College Student Report represent empirically confirmed "good practices" in undergraduate education. That is, they reflect behaviors by students and institutions that are associated with desired outcomes of college.

Institutions will use their data to identify aspects of the undergraduate experience inside and outside the classroom that can be improved through changes in policies and practices more consistent with good practices in undergraduate education. This information is also intended for use by prospective college students, their parents, college counselors, academic advisers, institutional research officers, and researchers in learning more about how students spend their time at different colleges and universities and what they gain from their experiences.


All questions have results broken down into six age categories:

  1. 19 or younger
  2. 20-23
  3. 24-29
  4. 30-39
  5. 40-55
  6. over 55

Significant Academic Advising Reports:

  • Number of freshman and senior students who evaluated overall quality of advising received at NKU.
  • Number of freshman and senior students who indicated they would select NKU again if they could start over.
  • Number of freshman and senior students who evaluated their entire educational experience at NKU.


Significant Additional Collegiate Experience:

  • Number of freshman and senior student who examined the strengths and weaknesses of their own views on a topic or issue.
  • Number of freshman and senior students who tried to better understand someone else's views by imagining how an issue looks from his or her perspective.


Significant Academic and Intellectual Experiences:

  • Number of freshman and senior students who made a class presentation.
  • Number of freshman and senior students who worked with classmates outside of class to prepare class assignments.
  • Number of freshman and senior students who tutored or taught other students (paid or voluntary)
  • Number of freshman and senior students who talked about career plans with a faculty member or advisor.
  • Number of freshman and senior students who used an electronic medium (listserv, chat group, internet, instant messaging, etc.) to discuss or complete an assignment.
  • Number of freshman and senior students who participated in a community-based project (e.g., service learning) as part of a regular course.
  • Number of freshman and senior students who had serious conversations with students of a different race or ethnicity than their own.
  • Number of freshman and senior students who discussed ideas from readings or classes with others outside of class (students, family members, co-workers, etc.)
  • Number of freshman and senior students who worked with faculty members on activities other than coursework (committees, orientation, student life activities, etc.)
  • Number of freshman and senior students who discussed ideas from readings or classes with faculty members outside of class.
  • Number of freshman and senior student who had serious conversations with students who are very different from you in terms of their religious beliefs, political opinions, or personal values.


Significant Enriching Education Experiences:

  • Number of freshman and senior students who participated in study abroad.
  • Number of freshman and senior students who participated in foreign language (additional) language coursework.
  • Number of freshman and senior students who participated in a learning community or some other formal program where groups of students take two or more classes together.
  • Number of freshman and senior students who participated in community service or volunteer work.
  • Number of freshman and senior students who participated in practicum, internship, field experience, co-op experience, or clinical assignment.
  • Number of freshman and senior students who participated in a culminating senior experience (capstone course, thesis, project, comprehensive exam, etc.)
  • Number of freshman and senior students who participated in independent study or self-designed major.
  • Number of freshman and senior students whose coursework emphasized applying theories or concepts to practical problems or in new situations.
  • Number of freshman or senor students whose coursework emphasized making judgments about the value of information, arguments, or methods, such as examining how others gathered and interpreted data and assessing the soundness of their conclusions.


Significant Mental Activities:

  • Number of freshman and senior students whose coursework emphasized synthesizing and organizing ideas, information, or experiences into new, more complex interpretations and relationships.
  • Number of freshman and senior students whose coursework emphasized analyzing the basic elements of an idea, experience, or theory, such as examining a particular case or situation in depth and considering its components.
  • Number of freshman and senior students whose coursework emphasized memorizing facts, ideas or methods from courses and readings so they could repeat them in pretty much the same form.


Significant Quality Relationships:

  • Number of freshman and senior students who reported quality relationships with administrative and personal staff on a scale of 1-7 with 1 = unhelpful, inconsiderate, rigid and 7= helpful, considerate, flexible.
  • Number of freshman and senior students who reported quality relationships with faculty members on a scale of 1 - 7 with 1=unavailable, unhelpful, unsympathetic and 7 = available, helpful, sympathetic.
  • Number of freshman and senior students who reported quality relationships with other students on a scale of 1 - 7 with 1 = unfriendly, unsupportive, sense of alienation and 7 = friendly, supportive, sense of belonging.
  • Number of freshman and senior students who reported quality relationships with administrative and personnel staff on a scale of 1 - 7 with 1 = unhelpful, inconsiderate, rigid, and 7 = helpful, considerate, flexible.
  • Number of freshman and senior students who reported qualify relationships with faculty members on a scale of 1 - 7 with 1 = unavailable, unhelpful, unsympathetic and 7 = available, helpful, sympathetic.
  • Numbers of freshman and senior students who reported quality relationships with other students on a scale of 1 - 7 with 1 = unfriendly, unsupportive, sense of alienation and 7 = friendly, supportive, sense of belonging.


Significant Reading and Writing Reports:

  • Number of freshman and senior students reporting the number of written papers or reports of fewer thand 5 pages.
  • Number of freshman and senior studetns reporting the number of written papers or reports between 5 and 19 pages
  • Number of freshman and senior student reporting the number of written papers or reports of 20 pages or more.
  • Number of freshman and senior students reporting the number of books read on their own (not assigned) for personal enjoyment or academic enrichment.
  • Number of freshman and senior students reporting the number of assigned textbooks, books, or book-length packs of course readings. Broken down into two catagories: between 1 and 4 and between 5 and 10.


Significant time Usage:

  • Number of freshman and senior students reporting how many hours per 7-day week spent commuting to class (driving, walking, etc).
  • Number of freshman and senior students reporting how many hours per 7-day week were spent providing care for dependents living with you (parents, children, spouse, etc.).
  • Number of freshman and senior students reporting how many hours per 7-day week were spent relaxing and socializing (watching TV, partying, etc.).
  • Number of freshman and senior student reporting how many hours per 7-day week were spent participating in co-curricular activities (organizations, campus publications, student government, social fraternity or soriety, intercollegiate or intramural sports, etc.).
  • Number of freshman and senior studetns reporting how many hours per 7- day week were spent working for pay off campus.
  • Number of freshman and senior students reporting how many hours per 7-day week were spent working for pay on campus.