National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)
The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) is the most comprehensive assessment of effective practice in higher education. Since 1999, the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research has administered the NSSE, and more than 540 four-year colleges and universities participated this past spring.
In an effort to better understand our students, during the spring of 2009 NIU participated in the NSSE and surveyed 1,127 first-year and senior students. Conducted every three years, we participated in the NSSE again in the spring of 2012 and surveyed 1,239 first-year and senior students. Our results demonstrate that our students continue to feel challenged in their classes, have positive interactions with their faculty, engage in frequent dialogues with others of a different background or belief system, and by their senior year, 48% of students participate in some form of practicum, internship, or field experience.
The research is unequivocal: students who are actively involved in both academic and out-of-class activities gain more from the college experience than those who are not so involved [therefore,] it is important to focus on the ways in which an institution can shape its academic, interpersonal, and extracurricular offering to encourage student engagement.
Pascarella & Terenzini. (2005). How college affects students: A third decade of research. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 2005.