The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) is a survey of first-year and senior students that measures the level of student engagement in academic and social practices that are linked to student learning, satisfaction, and overall success (click here to see a copy of the survey). Nicholls administers NSSE every other spring, with the more recent administration in Spring 2012 completed by 540 students (149 freshmen and 391 seniors). NSSE consists of five benchmarks: Level of Academic Challenge, Active and Collaborative Learning, Student-Faculty Interaction, Enriching Educational Activities, and Supportive Campus Environment. For more information about these benchmarks, click here.
Prominent findings from the 2012 NSSE administration include:
Level of Academic Challenge
- 78% of first-year students and 76% of seniors feel Nicholls places a substantial emphasis on academics
- 23% of first-year students and 40% of seniors report writing a least one paper 20 pages or longer during the current school year
Active and Collaborative Learning
- 54% of first-year students and 75% of seniors report frequently asking questions in class and participating in class discussions
- 31% of first-year students and 58% of seniors report frequently making presentations in class
- 11% of first-year students and 36% of seniors report participating in community-based projects as part of coursework
- 68% of first-year students and 65% of seniors describe faculty as available, helpful, and supportive
- 51% of first-year students and 65% of seniors report receiving prompt feedback from faculty members about academic performance
- 84% of both first-year and senior students report discussing career plans with faculty at least occasionally
Enriching Educational Experiences
- 11% of first-year students and 25% of seniors report participating in a learning community while at Nicholls
- 51% of seniors report participating in some type of practicum, internship, field experience, co-op, or clinical assignment while at Nicholls
- 31% of seniors report completing a culminating senior experience (e.g., capstone course, senior project, comprehensive exam, etc.)
Supportive Campus Environment
- 74% of first-year students and 87% of seniors report that their fellow students are friendly, supportive, and provide a sense of belonging
- 80% of first-year students and 74% of seniors report that Nicholls provides substantial support for their academic success
- 45% of first-year students and 44% of seniors report that Nicholls provides substantial support for their social needs
For more information about results for Nicholls freshmen and seniors from the 2012 administration, please see The Student Experience in Brief, which is a short guide that provides prospective students with NSSE survey results to help them learn more about the college experience.
Comparisons between Nicholls and other University of Louisiana (UL) system institutions
An advantage of NSSE is the ability to make comparisons between Nicholls and average scores from the other eight University of Louisiana institutions that completed the survey in Spring 2012. Below are several comparisons on NSSE items and benchmarks between Nicholls students and their counterparts at other UL system institutions.
Entire educational experience – 79% of first-year students and 85% of seniors rated their educational experience at Nicholls as “good” or “excellent”. Click on the attached links to see comparisons with the UL system average for freshmen and seniors.
Attend the same institution again – 85% of first-year students and 80% of seniors stated they “probably” or “definitely” would attend Nicholls if they could start over again. Click on the attached links to see comparisons with UL system freshmen and seniors.
Time usage items – 55% of first-year students and 56% of seniors report spending 10 or more hours per week preparing for class. Over half of first-year students (52%) and seniors (58%) report working off-campus, with 28% of first-year students and 30% of seniors working 20 or more hours per week. Click on the attached links to compare time usage on six activities (preparing for class, working, participating in co-curricular activities, relaxing and socializing, caring for dependents, and commuting to class) between Nicholls and UL system freshmen and seniors.
The NSSE Executive Snapshot shows key findings from the 2012 administration, including: a) “highest performing” benchmark items for Nicholls freshmen and seniors compared to the UL system (page 2), b) “lowest performing” benchmark items for Nicholls freshmen and seniors compared to the UL system (page 3), and c) benchmark scores for Nicholls freshmen and seniors compared to the UL system (page 4).
PowerPoint summary of 2012 NSSE results:
During Fall 2012, a series of presentations were conducted across the Nicholls campus in order to inform faculty and administration about NSSE findings from the most recent administration. This PowerPoint presentation provides an overview of survey results, including benchmark scores, responses on time usage items, and responses on measures of overall satisfaction. The presentation also provides comparisons with the 2010 NSSE survey results, and shows the amount of change between the 2010-2012 administrations on benchmarks, time usage items, and overall satisfaction items.
“Top Ten” ways to use NSSE:
Although NSSE results provide interesting and enlightening information about levels of student engagement for Nicholls freshmen and seniors, the primary purpose of NSSE is to provide actionable information that can be used throughout the university. For ten ways to make the most effective use of NSSE here at Nicholls, click here.
2012 NSSE Mean and Frequency Report:
The 2012 NSSE Mean and Frequency Report provides mean scores and percentage frequencies on each item for Nicholls freshmen and seniors along with freshmen/seniors from three comparison groups (other UL system institutions, other institutions in the same Carnegie Class (Master’s Colleges and Universities – Medium Programs), and NSSE students nationwide). To access this report, click here.
If you have any questions or comments about this webpage, or need any additional information about NSSE, please contact Tucker Handley in the Office of Assessment & Institutional Research at (985) 448-4007 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.