Engagement Insights: Survey Findings on the Quality of Undergraduate Education—Annual Results 2018

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Date
2018
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Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research
Abstract
NSSE’s latest volume in its Annual Results series, Engagement Insights: Survey Findings on the Quality of Undergraduate Education, presents key findings from the 2018 administration of NSSE and its companion survey, the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE). NSSE surveyed first-year and senior students attending nearly 500 bachelor’s degree-granting institutions across the United States in spring 2018, while FSSE results came from 113 institutions, almost all of which administered NSSE as well. Annual Results 2018 also provides findings from a subset of NSSE respondents who answered additional questions about their career goals, use of career planning resources, and related activities. Results from NSSE’s Topical Module on First-Year Experiences and Senior Transitions provide further insights into seniors planning to take less-traveled paths after college. Noteworthy findings include: • Three in five seniors interviewed or shadowed a professional in the field, while about half attended a talk or panel discussion about careers. • Black first-year students attending historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) took greater advantage of career preparation resources than their peers at predominantly White institutions (PWIs), and they also expressed greater certainty about their career goals. • Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) faculty who teach lower-division students at HBCUs discussed careers with students more often than their PWI counterparts did. • About 9 in 10 seniors believed what they were learning in college was relevant to their career plans, with a modest difference favoring majors in professional fields compared to arts and sciences majors. • Arts and sciences majors were notably less likely than others to say their career goals had remained the same since beginning college, and they also expressed somewhat lower confidence than other majors in their career plans. • Seniors’ beliefs about how much their college experience helped them develop career-related skills differed by major. Those in social service professions reported above-average growth in understanding people of other backgrounds, while seniors in communications, media, and public relations were above average on perceived gains in writing and speaking. Majors in engineering and physical sciences reported below-average growth in these areas. The strongest beliefs about growth were in thinking critically and analytically, with few meaningful differences by major. Annual Results 2018 also summarizes students’ participation in High-Impact Practices (HIPs). Service-learning had the highest participation rate, with about half of first-year students and three fifths of seniors. About half of seniors had an internship or other field experience.
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Keywords
College Seniors, College Freshmen, Learner Engagement, National Surveys, Student Surveys, Educational Quality, Undergraduate Study, Career Readiness, Career Development, Black Colleges
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Report