Engagement Insights: Survey Findings on the Quality of Undergraduate Education—Annual Results 2015

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Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research
The report, Engagement Insights—Annual Results 2015, details results from more than 315,000 first-year and senior students attending 541 U.S. institutions in spring 2015, or subsets of that group where supplemental survey questions were included. NSSE’s annual survey provides colleges and universities with rich data about the undergraduate experience to help them improve student learning and success. Results for seniors show that participation in several High-Impact Practices (an internship or field experience, a learning community, research with faculty, a culminating senior-year experience, or service-learning) was positively related to how well their major coursework prepared them for post-graduation plans for employment or further education. Results also show that financial stress has not abated since 2012, and in some cases has worsened. Compared to 2012, a higher proportion of students frequently chose not to purchase required academic materials due to their cost. Other noteworthy findings from the 2015 NSSE survey and its companion surveys, the Beginning College Survey of Student Engagement (BCSSE) and the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE), include: • BCSSE results indicate considerable consistency in study time between high school and the first year of college. Over two thirds (68%) of those who studied more than 15 hours a week in high school studied at least that much during the first year of college. In contrast, only a quarter (25%) of those who studied five or fewer hours per week in high school studied more than 15 hours per week in the first college year. • A large majority (88%) of faculty at 16 institutions felt safe at their institutions, and 70% substantially agreed that if a crisis happened their institution would handle it well. However, perceptions of preparedness varied considerably from campus to campus. About one in four faculty members (23%) experienced offensive behavior, discrimination, isolation, or harassment at their institutions. (Results from FSSE experimental questions.) • Additional NSSE findings: 66% of first-year students frequently learned something that changed the way they understand an issue or concept, and 80% of seniors talked about career plans with a faculty member. The report also features examples from Harvey Mudd College, University of Mount Union, and University of West Florida illustrating how these institutions have used NSSE results to guide improvement efforts.
Undergraduate Students, National Surveys, Educational Quality, Student Characteristics, Questionnaires, Student Attitudes, Student Experience, Learner Engagement, Educational Policy, Educational Indicators
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