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Planning and Institutional Effectiveness


Assessment and Institutional Research

Office of Assessment and Institutional Research conducts various surveys to obtain the opinions of various bodies serving Nicholls. The surveys are used to improve the institutional effectiveness, provide accurate information to the university administrators and faculty and support university’s mission. Assessment primarily focuses on understanding and improving student learning. Student learning outcomes enable the assessment process to be effective by measuring the department’s goals, student’s performance, expected outcomes (results) and the actual outcomes (results). Click here for Guidelines for writing Student Learning Outcomes.


Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory (SSI) – Before 2013, Nicholls had been administering the ACT Student Opinion Survey (SOS) to measure student satisfaction with campus services, offices, and the overall environment.  Since the ACT SOS was discontinued, Nicholls administered the Noel-Levitz SSI for the first time in Spring 2013. 

 Highlights from 2013 Noel-Levitz SSI        Spring 2013 results      Spring 2011 ACT SOS

Alumni Survey – The alumni survey is sent to both recent (one-year) and long-term (five-year) Nicholls graduates. The survey collects employment and salary data from Nicholls alumni, and measures alumni satisfaction with campus facilities, skills and abilities gained during college, and with overall satisfaction with the Nicholls experience.  This survey is given every five years, and was last administered in December 2011.

2011 highlights        2011- Combined      2011-One year    2011-Five year

Beginning College Survey of Student Engagement (BCSSE) – The Beginning College Survey of Student Engagement (BCSSE) is a national survey that collects data about the high school academic and co-curricular experiences of incoming students, as well as their expectation about participating in educationally purposeful activities during their freshmen year.  This survey has been given to incoming freshmen since 2009, and was last administered in Fall 2014.

Highlights from Fall 2014 BCSSE       Fall 2014 BCSSE results       Previous BCSSE administrations

Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) – The Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) is a national assessment that is given annually to freshmen in the fall semester and seniors in the spring semester.  The CLA is an open-ended evaluation that measures critical thinking, analytic reasoning, and other higher-level cognitive skills.  Nicholls has administered the CLA since 2008-09, with the most recent administration occurring during the 2011-12 academic year.  

2011-2012 CLA results   Previous CLA administrations

Graduating Student Employment Survey – This survey is given at the conclusion of every semester to Nicholls graduating seniors. The survey measures student utilization of the Office of Career Services while at Nicholls (including services such as job fairs, resume critiques, and career counseling), as well as employment prospects upon graduation.  This survey was last administered in December 2014 for the Fall 2014 graduating class, and was completed by 296 students.  

Fall 2014 results    Highlights of Fall 2014 survey and past results

Faculty/staff Survey – The faculty/staff survey is given to Nicholls employees every other year, with the most recent administration in Spring 2014 completed by 150 faculty and 176 staff members.  The faculty/staff survey asks employees about both their overall job satisfaction and their overall perception of the effectiveness of the university.  

Spring 2014 faculty survey       Spring 2014 staff survey     Spring 2014 highlights and past results

Graduating Senior Survey – The Graduating Senior survey is given at the beginning of every semester to undergraduate seniors who are planning to graduate. This sixty-two question survey asks prospective graduates a wide variety of questions about their academic experience at Nicholls, ranging from the acquisition of specific skills and abilities from coursework to satisfaction with their particular major. The most recent survey in Fall 2014 was completed by 383 prospective graduates.

Fall 2014 results   Fall 2014 – college and department    Fall 2014 highlights & past results

Graduate Student Survey – The Graduate Student survey is given to graduate students who planning to graduate from Nicholls at the end of the semester.  The thirteen-item survey measures graduate student satisfaction with the graduate curriculum, attitudes of faculty and staff toward graduate students, and the extent to which their graduate study has prepared them for employment and the workplace.  The most recent survey in Fall 2014 was completed by 26 graduate students. 

Fall 2014 survey       Highlights of Fall 2014 survey and past results

Measure of Academic Proficiency and Progress (MAPP) test  – The Measure of Academic Proficiency and Progress (MAPP) test is currently given every other fall to students that have completed the general education portion of their Nicholls education.  MAPP is a thirty-six question multiple-choice test that measures student competence in reading, writing, mathematics, and critical thinking.  Students receive both an overall score and one of three proficiency scores in each subject area, with proficiency scores ranging from lowest to highest degree of mastery.  MAPP was last administered in November 2011, and was completed by 559 students.  

Fall 2011 overall means             Fall 2011 proficiency levels    Fall 2011 highlights and past results

National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) – The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) is a national survey that is currently given every other spring to a random sample of Nicholls freshmen and seniors.  NSSE measures the extent to which students engage in or are exposed to academic practices and behaviors that are related to desirable educational outcomes.  NSSE was last administered in Spring 2014, and was completed by 476 students (191 freshmen and 285 seniors). Choose from the links below for a “snapshot” of results from the Spring 2014 survey, means and frequency statistics for all items, highlights from the survey, and results from the 2010 and 2012 surveys.  

2014 NSSE snapshot         2014 NSSE item statistics              2014 NSSE highlights                  Past NSSE administrations

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