NSSE to conduct web survey for students


The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) will launch a web survey for first-year and senior students on Feb. 19 to look at academic and extra-curricular engagement.

Students will be asked a wide range of questions about classes and schoolwork, questions about involvement in extra-curricular activities with groups on campus and about how free time is spent.

Not only will the survey ask about how students spend their free time but also who they spend their time with. The survey will see if students interact more with people of different races or with people of their own race.

The NSSE survey serves SU as a measurement of how well, through the eyes of the students, the university is meeting up to its core values and mission, and how those things can be updated in the strategic plan for 2013-14.

The largest part of the survey will examine the things students do in their academic studies and there is a large section that allows open-ended student comment.

“It’s a good opportunity for the student to self-reflect on how they’re budgeting their time and how they feel they’ve been engaged with the university,” said Mark Pilgrim, Director of Institutional Research for SU.

“It’s a good growth experience to go through and at the end of it you’re really in a good mindset to make some contributions.”

Pilgrim said comparing students within the same major is where the university can gain the most insights on its students. He said the survey has evolved and also looks at engagement by understanding campus climate and culture.

“It is going to be an online survey and each student will get a web address and a link to log in to and they will have a personalized survey, which is nice in that it allows them to do part of it, then come back and finish,” Pilgrim said. “We are aware of the demands on students’ time and we want to be fair about it.”

He said the survey will probably take students about 20 minutes to complete or more if students take more time to contemplate or write comments. First-year students who have already experienced a full semester and seniors will be able to take the survey.

NSSE started in 2001 and conducts surveys at hundreds of four-year colleges and universities to better understand and improve student participation.

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