Grand Valley State University

NSSE 2007

 

Executive Summary

Aug 20, 2007

 

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) is an important multi-institutional project that measures the extent to which undergraduate freshmen and seniors engage in educationally effective practices.  GVSU has participated in the 2005 and 2007 iterations of the survey.  What follows is a summary of GVSU’s 2007 results, as compared to its 2005 results and to 2007 results from peer institutions[1]. Of the two comparisons, the trend data are most meaningful, given the scope of inter-institutional differences even among our identified peers and variable response rates at other institutions. 

 

NSSE results are compiled into 5 summary measures representing aspects of student engagement. In addition, the survey requests students’ assessments of their schools’ contributions to their own development in various areas[2].

 

Overall, the results are very encouraging.  Changes since 2005 are almost all toward the positive, and GVSU students’ responses compare favorably to peers in several areas, particularly among seniors.  Our students indicate high levels of perceived growth and satisfaction with the university.  Differences from peers indicate that continued improvement is still warranted, perhaps particularly in aspects of student-faculty interaction.

 

Level of Academic ChallengeChallenging intellectual and creative work is central to student learning and collegiate quality.  Colleges and universities promote high levels of student achievement by emphasizing the importance of academic effort and setting high expectations for student performance.

GVSU freshmen scores improved significantly since 2005.  Grand Valley seniors outperformed seniors at peer schools.

 

GVSU

2005

GVSU

2007

Peers

2007

Freshmen

49.5*

50.8

50.8

Seniors

54.9

55.9

54.5**

 

Active and Collaborative Learning -- Students learn more when they are intensely involved in their education and asked to think about what they are learning in different settings.  Collaborating with others in solving problems or mastering difficult material prepares students for the messy, unscripted problems they will encounter daily during and after college.                           Grand Valley seniors improved since 2005 and significantly outscored peer seniors in 2007.  Freshmen scored significantly below peers.

 

GVSU

2005

GVSU

2007

Peers

2007

Freshmen

38.3

38.9

40.4*

Seniors

49.0*

50.8

49.1**

 

Student-Faculty Interaction -- Students learn firsthand how experts think about and solve practical problems by interacting with faculty members inside and outside the classroom.  As a result, their teachers become role models, mentors, and guides for continuous, life-long learning..

Grand Valley students’ scores didn’t change significantly on this scale, although there were some significant declines on component items.  Among freshmen, GVSU’s scores were lower than peer institutions’.

 

 

GVSU

2005

GVSU

2007

Peers

2007

Freshmen

29.3

28.5

32.0***

Seniors

39.3

39.8

38.5

 

Enriching Educational Experiences -- Complementary learning opportunities enhance academic programs. Diversity experiences teach students valuable things about themselves and others. Technology facilitates collaboration between peers and instructors. Internships, community service, and senior capstone courses provide opportunities to integrate and apply knowledge

Scores improved among GVSU seniors, who also outscored peer seniors.  Grand Valley freshmen scored below the average for peers.

 

GVSU

2005

GVSU

2007

Peers

2007

Freshmen

24.6

24.7

26.0**

Seniors

37.0*

39.3

37.9*

 

Supportive Campus Environment --  Students perform better and are more satisfied at colleges that are committed to their success and cultivate positive working and social relations among different groups on campus.

Dramatic improvements on this scale were evident among both freshmen and seniors, and both groups of Grand Valley students outscored their peers..

 

GVSU

2005

GVSU

2007

Peers

2007

Freshmen

57.2***

60.4

57.9***

Seniors

53.6**

56.0

53.9***

 

Self-reported growth –  GVSU freshman ratings of growth attributable to the school increased in general education, writing, critical thinking, and understanding of people from diverse backgrounds.  They gave higher responses than peer freshmen on all of those items except the diversity item, on which they scored significantly below peers.

GVSU seniors’ ratings improved significantly on work-related skills, working with others, and understanding people from diverse backgrounds.   GVSU seniors reported more development than peer seniors in general education, work-related skills, writing, critical thinking, and working with others.

 

Summary Assessments --  Both freshmen and seniors at GVSU were more likely than peers to say they would choose the same school if they had a chance to choose again.  Seniors’ response to that item improved between 2005 and 2007.  Freshman evaluations of the overall educational experience improved significantly over time.  Grand Valley seniors gave higher ratings for their academic advising than peer seniors.

 

 



[1] Appalachian State University; CUNY Hunter College; Portland State University; Towson University; University of Northern Iowa; and Youngstown State University

[2]           *          p < 0.05

            **       p < 0.01

            ***     p < 0.001