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National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)

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This page and the links below are intended to provide a brief explanation of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE), the responses of Beloit students in comparison to those at other institutions of higher education, and the way that Beloit College uses this data to make our college a better place to live and learn.

The NSSE was most recently administered to First Years and Seniors at Beloit during the 2010-11 academic year.  You can access the survey instrument here: 2011 NSSE

Click on the links below to find the answers to the following questions:

What is the NSSE?

What is Student Engagment?

Which “educationally effective practices” do NSSE/FSSE address?

What are the NSSE Benchmarks?

Why are these data useful?

How does Beloit compare to other institutions?

  • What is the NSSE? 
    • The NSSE is a national survey designed to assess the extent to which first-year and senior students engage in a variety of educationally effective activities, their perception of institutional priorities, and the extent to which they believe their learning and skills have been effected by the institution they attend.
    • The foundational premise is that students who are actively involved in both academic and out-of-class activities gain more from the college experience than those who are not as involved AND that level of involvement is a meaningful measure of institutional quality.
  • What is Student Engagement?
    • According to NSSE/FSSE, it is the intersection of
      • The time and energy students devote to educationally sound practices, and
      • The policies and practices institutions use to encourage students to take part in these activities.
  • Which “educationally effective practices” do NSSE/FSSE address?
    • Student-faculty contact
    • Active learning
    • Prompt feedback
    • Time on task
    • High expectations
    • Cooperation among students
    • Respect for diverse talents and ways of learning
  • What are the NSSE Benchmarks?
    • NSSE creates 5 benchmark categories scored by an index based on survey responses to a group of relevant questions, and weighted to account for differences between the survey group and the overall institutional population.  Beloit's scores, along with comparisons to peer groups, can be accessed at left or through the links at the bottom of the page. The five benchmark categories are:
      • Level of academic challenge
      • Active and collaborative learning
      • Student-faculty interaction
      • Enriching educational experiences
      • Supportive campus environment
  • Why are these data useful?
    • They provide a way for the college to measure itself against other similar and aspirant institutions.
    • They provide a way for the college to talk about campus culture and expectations and provide a reference for campus “norms”.
  • How does Beloit Compare to other Institutions?
    • The NSSE provides data that allows us to compare responses at Beloit College to the average institutional responses of two groups
      • All NSSE respondents (718 institutions)
      • Responding institutions classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as “Baccalaureate Colleges--Arts & Sciences” (142 institutions)
    • To view comparisons between Beloit Freshmen/Seniors and each of these two groups, click on the benchmark categories below or download the summary document on the upper right hand corner of this page for an easily printable (.pdf) format.

2011 NSSE Benchmark Comparisons

Level of Academic Challenge

Active and Collaborative Learning

Student-Faculty Interaction

Enriching Educational Experience

Supportive Campus Environment