National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE )

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) assesses college students’ involvement in curricular activities that are associated with academic achievement.  The NSSE is based on extensive research that shows that “the time and energy college students devote to educationally purposeful activities is the single best predictor of their learning and personal development.”  The survey includes items “that are known to be related to important college outcomes” and encompasses a broad range of activities from such things as the number of papers student write and participation in class discussions to their involvement in experiential learning and extracurricular activities.  The NSSE* is a national survey; therefore UW-L can compare performance of its students to comparable institutions.  Additionally, in recent years, the UW-System required participation by all campuses and included some additional questions.  Therefore, we can compare responses of students here at UW-L with other UW-System schools.

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) annually assesses the extent to which undergraduate students are involved in educational practices empirically linked to high levels of learning and development. In an effort to make it easier for people on and off campus to talk productively about student engagement and its importance to student learning, collegiate quality, and institutional improvement, NSSE created five clusters or benchmarks of effective educational practice:

(1) Level of academic challenge
(2) Active and collaborative learning
(3) Student-faculty interactions
(4) Enriching educational experiences
(5) Supportive campus environment.

The benchmarks are made up of groups of items on the survey and are expressed in 100-point scales. Each year, NSSE calculates benchmark scores to monitor performance at the institutional, sector, and national level. Analyses for 2008 were based on approximately 370,000 randomly selected students at approximately 700 four-year colleges and universities that participated in 2006. The students represent a broad cross-section of first-year and senior students from every region of the country. The institutions are representative of four-year schools across the nation.

UW-L participated in the NSSE yearly from 1999 to 2004, 2006, and 2008. UW-L will continue participate every 2 to 3 years from this point forward. In 2008, 3,968 UW-L students were contacted and 1,865 students completed the NSSE for a response rate of 47%. As is typical in much survey research, men responded at lower rates than women. Additionally, freshmen who had not yet declared a major were significantly underrepresented among NSSE responders.

 

First-Year Students

Seniors

 

NSSE Sample

UW-L Population

NSSE Sample

UW-L Population

(n = 882)

(n = 1749)

(n = 983)

(n = 1734)

Gender

 

 

 

 

Female

69

61%

69

61%

Male

31

39%

31

39%

Ethnicity

 

 

 

 

Asian/Pacific Islander

5

4%

2

2%

African American

0

1%

1

1%

Hispanic

1

1%

1

2%

Native American

1

1%

0

1%

Caucasian

86

87%

90

93%

International

3

4%

1

1%

Multiracial

1

0%

1

0%

Other

1

 

1

 

Undeclared

5

0%

6

0%

College

 

 

 

 

CBA

15

19%

20

19%

CLS

29

34%

41

39%

SAH

44

46%

40

41%

Undeclared

12

 

0

 

 

Note:  Numbers are percentages.

NSSE Reports


*For more information about the College Student Report and the NSSE, visit the NSSE web page at http://www.iub.edu/~nsse/