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) – The Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory (SSI) is a forty-five item student survey designed to measure both the importance of and satisfaction with different aspects of the college experience. Nicholls began administering SSI in Spring 2015, after the ACT Student Opinion Survey (SOS) was discontinued. The most recent administration was in Spring 2015, when the survey was completed by 606 students.

Highlights from Spring 2015 Noel-Levitz SSI        Spring 2015 results      Previous SSI/SOS administrations and trend analysis

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 was last administered in June-July 2015, with responses from 152 one-year alumni and 66 five-year alumni.

2015 highlights        One and Five-Year Alumni Combined    One-Year Alumni (2013-14 grads)    Five-Year Alumni (2009-10 grads)   Alumni Survey History

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 administered to freshmen in the fall semester and seniors in the spring semester. Updated in 2013, the CLA+ measures student abilities in critical thinking, analytic reasoning, and other higher-level cognitive skills. Nicholls began administering the original CLA in 2008-09. The CLA+ was last administereed during the 2013-14 academic year, when it was completed by 32 freshmen and 90 seniors.

        2013-14 CLA+ results   Highlights from 2013-14 administration   Past CLA results and trend analyses

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 May 2016 for the Spring 2016 graduating class, and was completed by 267 students.  

Spring 2017 Results  Highlights of Spring 2016 survey   Past survey results and trend analysis

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 highlights     Spring 2014 faculty survey       Spring 2014 staff survey     History of past administrations

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 Spring 2016 was completed by 428 prospective graduates.

Spring 2016 highlights    Spring 2017 Results   Spring 2017 – college and department    History of past administrations

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 Spring 2015 was completed by 22 graduate students. 

2016 Results     Highlights of Spring 2016 survey         History of past surveys

ETS Proficiency Profile  – The ETS Proficiency Profile (formerly called the Measure of Academic Proficiency and Progress, or MAPP) 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 2013, and was completed by 559 students.  

Trend analyses: Fall 2006-13   Fall 2013 mean scaled scores       Fall 2013 proficiency levels    History of past administrations

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