Grand Valley State University

NSSE 2007

 

Aug. 20, 2007

 

 

Introduction:

 

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) is a well-regarded survey of undergraduate college students designed to measure the extent to which those students are engaged in educationally effective practices.  The survey was launched in 2001, and GVSU has participated in 2005 and 2007.  What follows is a summary of the responses of GVSU students to the 2007 survey, with comparisons both to 2005 findings and to 2007 data from peer institutions.

 

            A random sample of GVSU freshmen and seniors was invited to take the NSSE online in February 2007. Of 4,762 students invited, 2,182 responded.  This response rate of 46% is considerably higher than the average for other participating schools (26% for all public universities in GVSU’s Carnegie Classification).  This higher response rate is likely to have some depressive effect on measures of student engagement – that is, if the most engaged students are likely to take a survey of student engagement, then higher response rates presumably mean that more of the less-engaged students are being reached.  Female students are over-represented among GVSU’s respondents (72% of freshmen respondents vs. 63% of enrolled freshmen; 69% of senior respondents vs. 61% of eligible seniors), but respondents are roughly representative of the eligible student body by ethnicity, age, and transfer origin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

            The primary peer group referenced in this report consists of the following institutions:

·         Appalachian State University

·         CUNY Hunter College

·         Portland State University

·         Towson University

·         University of Northern Iowa

·         Youngstown State University

These are institutions that have been identified previously as our peer schools, and who also participated in the 2007 NSSE. 

 

Data are organized according to theoretical constructs developed by NSSE researchers to measure aspects of student engagement:

·         Level of academic challenge;

·         Active and collaborative learning;

·         Student-faculty interaction;

·         Enriching educational experiences;

·         Supportive campus environment.

Each of these constructs is represented by a multi-item scale.  Data are presented below for each scale and for the individual components for which significant differences exist. Additional survey items that don’t contribute to the NSSE scales are summarized in two additional sections, on students’ self-reported growth and miscellaneous topics.  A summary of respondents’ free-response comments is also included.

 

Data are presented in comparative contexts, with indicators of statistical significance and effect size.  As a rule of thumb, differences (over time or between schools) are notable if they are statistically significant and have an effect size of at least 0.10.  Larger effect sizes indicate greater practical significance (given statistical significance).  This report does not present details on the scaling of different items, so absolute interpretations of scores (e.g. “’2’ means ‘sometimes’ and ‘3’ means ‘often’, so 2.62 means…”) are not generally possible based on this report alone.  In addition, questionnaire items may be paraphrased here.  Response scales and precise wording are presented in the accompanying Means Comparison Report.

 

Statistical significance:

  -         Not significant

  *        p<0.05

 **        p<0.01

***       p<0.001

 

 

Results: 2007 vs. 2005

 

In general, the changes reflected in GVSU’s NSSE responses are quite encouraging. Seniors registered improvements on three of the five benchmarking scales, while there was measurable improvement on two of the five freshman scales.  Students’ reports of their own growth improved consistently across nearly all developmental domains for both freshmen and seniors.  Measures of overall satisfaction also improved for both groups.

 

There are clear improvements in the particular areas of diversity and participation in co-curricular activities.  In both cases, students perceive a greater institutional commitment to support those aspects of student life, and indications of activity and growth in those areas have all increased.  A general area for concern is freshmen’s access to and interaction with faculty. Several indicators in this area declined between the 2005 and 2007 iterations.

 

 

Level of academic challenge

 

Freshman scores on this scale improved significantly, based largely on increases in the amount of coursework emphasizing more complex mental activities (per Bloom’s Taxonomy) and increases in the number of reading assignments reported. Seniors’ scores did not change significantly between 2005 and 2007, although responses for many of the component items improved significantly.

 

 

 

2005

 

2007

Statistical

Significance

Effect

Size

Freshmen

 

 

 

 

Level of Academic Challenge (LAC) Scale

49.5

50.8

*

0.12

Coursework emphasized analysis tasks

2.98

3.08

**

0.13

Number of assigned textbooks, books, or book-length packs of course readings

3.17

3.24

*

0.09

Number of short (<5 pp.) papers

2.94

2.86

*

-0.09

 

Seniors

 

 

 

 

LAC Scale

54.9

55.9

-

0.07

Coursework emphasized synthesis tasks

2.90

3.01

**

0.14

Coursework emphasized Evaluation tasks

2.85

2.95

*

0.14

Coursework emphasized application tasks

3.12

3.21

*

0.12

Number of long (20+ pp.) papers

1.48

1.56

**

0.14

 

 

 

Active and collaborative learning

 

Freshmen’s scores for this scale did not change significantly between 2005 and 2007, and both improvements and declines appear among the scale’s components.  Seniors’ scores improved significantly, due in part to increases in class participation, presentations, and in-class group work.

 

 

 

 

2005

 

2007

Statistical

Significance

Effect

Size

Freshmen

 

 

 

 

Active and Collaborative Learning (ACL) Scale

38.3

38.9

-

0.04

Made a class presentation

1.96

2.07

***

0.15

Worked with other students on projects during class

2.56

2.49

*

-0.10

Participated in service learning as part of a regular course

1.34

1.43

**

0.14

 

Seniors

 

 

 

 

ACL Scale

49.0

50.8

*

0.12

Asked questions in class or contributed to class discussions 

3.04

3.12

*

0.11

Made a class presentation

2.75

2.83

**

0.15

Worked with other students on projects during class

2.56

2.66

*

0.11

 

 

Student-faculty interaction

 

Neither freshmen nor seniors registered improvements on this scale.  Among freshmen, the 2007 score is lower than the 2005 score, although the difference is not statistically significant.  Last year’s freshmen reported less contact with faculty members for discussion of coursework or grading, and both freshmen and seniors indicated that faculty feedback was less timely than previously reported.

 

 

 

 

2005

 

2007

Statistical

Significance

Effect

Size

Freshmen

 

 

 

 

Student-Faculty Interaction (SFI) Scale

29.3

28.5

-

-.05

Discussed grades or assignments with an instructor

2.49

2.40

*

-.09

Received prompt feedback from faculty on academic performance

2.69

2.55

***

-.19

 

Seniors

 

 

 

 

SFI Scale

39.3

39.8

-

0.03

Received prompt feedback from faculty on academic performance

2.90

2.77

**

-0.16

Worked with faculty members on activities other than coursework

1.61

1.71

*

0.17

 

 

Enriching educational experiences

 

Freshman scores for this scale did not change significantly, but seniors’ scores improved.  Both groups reported more involvement in co-curricular activities and recognized an increasing emphasis on multicultural relationships.  Seniors were also more likely to have completed internships, practica, etc. than the past.

 

 

 

2005

 

2007

Statistical

Significance

Effect

Size

Freshmen

 

 

 

 

Enriching Educational Experiences (EEE) Scale

24.6

24.7

-

0.01

Used an electronic medium to discuss or complete assignment

2.67

2.53

**

-0.14

Time spent participating in co-curricular activities

1.91

2.08

**

0.13

Inst. emphasizes encouraging contact among students from diverse backgrounds

2.55

2.77

***

0.23

 

Seniors

 

 

 

 

EEE Scale

37.0

39.3

*

0.14

Used an electronic medium to discuss or complete assignment

2.68

2.80

**

0.13

Took practicum, internship, field experience, co-op experience, or clinical assignment

45%

50%

*

0.12

Time spent participating in co-curricular activities

1.71

1.83

*

0.11

Inst. emphasizes encouraging contact among students from diverse backgrounds

2.20

2.39

***

0.20

 

 

 

Supportive campus environment

 

Both freshmen and seniors indicated significant improvements on this scale. Both groups indicated better relations with administrative personnel and offices, and freshmen reported better experiences with faculty, while seniors reported better relations with their fellow students.  Freshmen reported improvements in several types of support services.

 

 

 

2005

 

2007

Statistical

Significance

Effect

Size

Freshmen

 

 

 

 

Supportive Campus Environment (SCE) Scale

57.2

60.4

***

0.20

Relationships with faculty

5.05

5.23

**

0.15

Relationships with admin.

4.55

4.80

***

0.17

Inst. emphasizes providing the support you need to help you succeed academically

3.04

3.12

*

0.12

Inst. emphasizes helping you cope with your non-academic responsibilities

1.99

2.08

*

0.13

Inst. emphasizes providing the support you need to thrive socially

2.28

2.37

*

0.10

Seniors

 

 

 

 

SCE Scale

53.6

56.0

**

0.14

Relationships with other students

5.33

5.51

**

0.15

Relationships with admin.

4.38

4.63

**

0.15

 

 

Self-reported growth

 

Following are areas in which current GVSU students attribute greater growth to the university than previous respondents did.  Change was almost uniformly in the positive direction.  The exception to this general improvement is voting behavior, which declined among freshmen.  The previous results came in a presidential election year (that is, the election occurred during the respondent’s freshman year), which may have some bearing on these results.

 

 

 

2005

 

2007

Statistical

Significance

Effect

Size

Freshmen

 

 

 

 

Acquiring a broad general education

3.14

3.24

**

0.15

Writing clearly and effectively

2.92

3.03

***

0.16

Thinking critically and analytically

3.05

3.17

***

0.17

Analyzing quantitative problems

2.81

2.89

*

0.10

Voting in local, state, or national elections

2.45

2.08

***

-0.35

Understanding people of other racial and ethnic backgrounds

2.48

2.58

*

0.12

Developing a personal code of values and ethics

2.39

2.48

*

0.09

Contributing to the welfare of your community

2.19

2.30

*

0.12

 

Seniors

 

 

 

 

Acquiring job or work-related knowledge and skills

2.94

3.06

**

0.15

Working effectively with others

3.06

3.15

*

0.12

Understanding people of other racial and ethnic backgrounds

2.42

2.52

*

0.12

Solving complex real-world problems

2.53

2.69

**

0.16

Developing a personal code of values and ethics

2.38

2.52

**

0.15

Contributing to the welfare of your community

2.23

2.37

**

0.15

 

 

Other Items

 

The following questionnaire items elicited responses in 2007 that were significantly different from the 2005 responses.  Both freshmen and seniors gave some indication of improved overall satisfaction, either in their summary evaluation or their assessment of whether they would choose GVSU again.

 

 

2005

 

2007

Statistical

Significance

Effect

Size

Freshmen

 

 

 

 

Prepared 2+ drafts of a paper or assignment before turning it in 

2.76

2.84

*

0.10

Included diverse perspectives in class discussions or writing assignments

2.60

2.75

***

0.19

Come to class without completing readings or assignments 

2.13

2.03

***

-0.15

Put together ideas from different courses for assignments or during class discussions

2.51

2.60

*

0.12

Number of long problem sets

2.53

2.63

*

0.09

Exams challenged me to do my best work

5.37

5.49

**

0.13

Time spent working for pay on campus

1.49

1.40

*

-0.09

Inst. emphasizes attending campus events and activities

2.75

2.85

**

0.13

Evaluation of entire educational experience

3.16

3.24

**

0.13

 

Seniors

 

 

 

 

Emailed a professor

3.32

3.39

*

0.12

Number of short problem sets

2.28

2.44

**

0.16

Attended an art exhibit, play, dance, music, theatre or other performance

1.86

1.99

***

0.18

Inst. emphasizes attending campus events and activities

2.43

2.55

**

0.15

If you could start over again, would you go to the same institution you are now attending?

3.16

3.29

***

0.17

 

 

 

Results: Comparison to peers:

 

GVSU seniors compare favorably to seniors at the peer institutions.  For four of the five benchmarking scales, GVSU seniors scored significantly above peers.  On the fifth scale, Student-Faculty Interaction, the difference approaches statistical significance (p=0.056).  Students reports of growth attributable to their university experience also tend to be higher among GVSU seniors than peers, and satisfaction is also higher for GVSU seniors than for seniors at the comparison schools.

 

            The responses of GVSU freshmen do not stand up nearly as well to those of peer freshmen.  GVSU’s freshman scores for Active and Collaborative Learning, Student-Faculty Interaction, and Enriching Educational Experiences are each significantly below the corresponding averages for our peer institutions.  Our freshmen score significantly above peer freshmen on the Supportive Campus Environment scale and identically to peers on Level of Academic Challenge.   Grand Valley freshmen report greater growth than students at the peer schools in several critical areas, but they report less growth in a few areas as well.  The summary assessments offered by our freshmen are more favorable than those given by peer freshmen.

 

 

Level of academic challenge

 

Grand Valley seniors score significantly higher than peer seniors on the Level of Academic Challenge scale, at least partially because they report more short and medium-length writing assignments, more coursework emphasizing the application of learning to practical problems or new situations, and a greater perceived institutional emphasis on studying.  Freshmen also perceive a greater emphasis on studying and report spending more time studying than peer freshmen, but they reported fewer writing assignments in two of the three length categories, so their summary scale score is identical to that of peer freshmen.

 

 

 

GVSU

 

Peers

Statistical

Significance

Effect

Size

Freshmen

 

 

 

 

Level of Academic Challenge (LAC) Scale

50.8

50.8

-

0.00

Coursework emphasized Evaluation tasks

2.78

2.85

*

-0.08

Number of assigned textbooks, books, or book-length packs of course readings

3.24

3.17

*

0.07

Number of long (20+ pp.) papers

1.13

1.24

***

-0.18

Number of short (<5 pp.) papers

2.86

3.08

***

-0.22

Time spent studying

3.95

3.76

***

0.12

Inst. emphasizes spending time on academic work

3.15

2.99

***

0.21

 

Seniors

 

 

 

 

LAC Scale

55.9

54.5

**

0.10

Coursework emphasized application tasks

3.21

3.13

**

0.10

Number of medium (5-19 pp.) papers

2.64

2.56

*

0.09

Number of short (<5 pp.) papers

3.13

2.97

***

0.14

Inst. emphasizes spending time on academic work

3.12

2.98

***

0.18

 

 

 

Active and collaborative learning

 

Grand Valley seniors score above peers on this scale, based on high reported in-class contributions, presentations, and group work.  Seniors reported engaging in less service learning than seniors at peer institutions. Freshmen at peer schools outscored GVSU freshmen slightly on this scale. In-class presentations, service learning, and out-of-class discussion were all areas in which GVSU freshmen reported less activity than peers.

 

 

 

GVSU

 

Peers

Statistical

Significance

Effect

Size

Freshmen

 

 

 

 

Active and Collaborative Learning (ACL) Scale

38.9

40.4

**

-0.09

Made a class presentation

2.07

2.24

***

-0.22

Participated in service learning as part of a regular course

1.43

1.50

**

-0.09

Discussed ideas from readings or classes with others outside of class

2.56

2.62

*

-0.07

 

Seniors

 

 

 

 

ACL Scale

50.8

49.1

**

0.10

Asked questions in class or contributed to class discussions 

3.12

3.04

**

0.10

Made a class presentation

2.83

2.73

***

0.12

Worked with other students on projects during class

2.66

2.50

***

0.19

Participated in service learning as part of a regular course

1.66

1.75

**

-0.10

 

 

Student-faculty interaction

 

Freshmen at GVSU indicated significantly less contact with faculty than peer freshmen on this scale.  They reported fewer conversations about grades, coursework, and career plans, and less collaboration on out-of-class activities.  Seniors’ scores on this scale did not differ significantly between GVSU and peer schools, but Grand Valley seniors did report more discussions of grades and career plans, and indicated more satisfaction with the timeliness of faculty feedback.

 

 

 

GVSU

 

Peers

Statistical

Significance

Effect

Size

Freshmen

 

 

 

 

Student-Faculty Interaction (SFI) Scale

28.5

32.0

***

-0.20

Discussed grades or assignments with an instructor

2.40

2.57

***

-0.19

Talked about career plans with a faculty member or advisor

2.40

2.57

***

-0.16

Discussed ideas from your readings or classes with faculty members outside of class

1.70

1.78

**

-0.10

Worked with faculty members on activities other than coursework

1.40

1.53

***

-0.16

 

Seniors

 

 

 

 

SFI Scale

39.8

38.5

-

0.06

Discussed grades or assignments with an instructor

2.78

2.70

**

0.10

Talked about career plans with a faculty member or advisor

2.39

2.31

*

0.09

Received prompt feedback from faculty on academic performance

2.77

2.70

*

0.08

 

 

Enriching educational experiences

 

Freshmen’s scores on the Enriching Educational Experiences scale are lower at GVSU than at peer institutions.  Less participation in learning communities, experiential learning, independent study and research, service learning, and study abroad contributed to this result.  Grand Valley seniors scored higher than peers on the same scale, due largely to high rates of participation in capstone courses and service learning.

 

 

 

GVSU

 

Peers

Statistical

Significance

Effect

Size

Freshmen

 

 

 

 

Enriching Educational Experiences (EEE) Scale

24.7

26.0

***

-0.10

Used an electronic medium to discuss or complete assignment

2.53

2.63

**

-0.09

Took practicum, internship, field experience, co-op experience, or clinical assignment

4%

8%

***

-0.16

Did community service or volunteer work

30%

33%

*

-0.06

Participated in a learning community

6%

17%

***

-0.30

Worked on a research project with a faculty member outside of course or program requirements

2%

4%

***

-0.09

Studied abroad

1%

3%

***

-0.13

Independent study or self-designed major

1%

3%

***

-0.13

Time spent participating in co-curricular activities

2.08

1.97

*

0.08

Inst. emphasizes encouraging contact among students from diverse backgrounds

2.77

2.58

***

0.20

 

Seniors

 

 

 

 

EEE Scale

39.3

37.9

*

0.09

Had serious conversations with students of a different race or ethnicity than your own

2.54

2.62

*

-0.07

Did community service or volunteer work

61%

55%

**

0.11

Culminating senior experience (capstone course, senior project, etc.)

50%

37%

***

0.27

Supportive campus environment

 

Both freshmen and seniors at Grand Valley registered high scores for this scale.  Students’ assessments of the friendliness and helpfulness of their relationships with faculty, administration, and other students were better for both groups of GVSU students than they were among their peers elsewhere.  Both groups also perceived a greater institutional commitment to supporting students academically.

 

 

 

GVSU

 

Peers

Statistical

Significance

Effect

Size

Freshmen

 

 

 

 

Supportive Campus Environment (SCE) Scale

60.4

57.9

***

0.13

Relationships with other students

5.53

5.37

***

0.11

Relationships with faculty

5.23

5.09

***

0.11

Relationships with admin.

4.80

4.56

***

0.15

Inst. emphasizes providing the support you need to help you succeed academically

3.12

2.92

***

0.25

 

Seniors

 

 

 

 

SCE Scale

56.0

53.9

**

0.11

Relationships with other students

5.51

5.39

*

0.08

Relationships with faculty

5.44

5.32

**

0.08

Relationships with admin.

4.63

4.35

***

0.16

Inst. emphasizes providing the support you need to help you succeed academically

2.93

2.76

***

0.21

Inst. emphasizes helping you cope with your non-academic responsibilities

1.78

1.86

**

-0.09

 

 

Self-reported growth

 

Compared to peer freshmen, GVSU freshmen attributed more growth to their school in general education, writing, critical thinking, and quantitative analysis.  They credited the school less for growth in speaking, voting, spirituality, diversity, and ethics.  Grand Valley seniors reported more growth than peers in work-related skills, teamwork, writing, critical thinking, computer use, general education, and quantitative analysis.  Seniors at GVSU attributed less growth to their school in spirituality and self-understanding.

 

 

 

GVSU

 

Peers

Statistical

Significance

Effect

Size

Freshmen

 

 

 

 

Acquiring a broad general education

3.24

3.07

***

0.22

Writing clearly and effectively

3.03

2.91

***

0.14

Speaking clearly and effectively

2.57

2.73

***

-0.18

Thinking critically and analytically

3.17

3.10

**

0.09

Analyzing quantitative problems

2.89

2.82

*

0.08

Voting in local, state, or national elections

2.08

2.18

**

-0.10

Understanding people of other racial and ethnic backgrounds

2.58

2.65

*

-0.07

Developing a personal code of values and ethics

2.48

2.52

*

-0.07

Developing a deepened sense of spirituality

1.89

1.97

*

-0.08

 

Seniors

 

 

 

 

Acquiring a broad general education

3.24

3.18

*

0.08

Acquiring job or work-related knowledge and skills

3.06

2.91

***

0.16

Writing clearly and effectively

3.12

3.02

***

0.12

Thinking critically and analytically

3.34

3.26

**

0.09

Analyzing quantitative problems

3.00

2.94

*

0.07

Using computers and IT

3.19

3.12

*

0.08

Working effectively with others

3.15

3.04

***

0.13

Understanding yourself

2.61

2.69

*

-0.07

Developing a deepened sense of spirituality

1.63

1.73

**

-0.10

 

 

 

Other Items

 

Both freshmen and seniors at GVSU rate the institution highly and would be likely to re-enroll if given the chance.  Seniors also give GVSU high marks for advising, relative to peers.  Grand Valley freshmen give indications of greater academic challenge on some measures that don’t contribute to the Level of Academic Challenge scale – more problem sets and more challenging exams.

 

 

 

GVSU

 

Peers

Statistical

Significance

Effect

Size

Freshmen

 

 

 

 

Prepared 2+ drafts of a paper or assignment before turning it in 

2.84

2.59

***

0.27

Worked on a project that required integrating ideas or information from various sources

3.13

3.08

*

0.07

Number of long problem sets

2.63

2.51

***

0.11

Number of short problem sets

2.89

2.74

***

0.14

Exams challenged me to do my best work

5.49

5.31

***

0.15

Exercised or participated in physical fitness activities

2.95

2.61

***

0.31

Participated in activities to enhance your spirituality

2.05

1.86

***

0.18

Time spent working for pay on campus

1.40

1.52

***

-0.10

Time spent working for pay off campus

2.10

2.74

***

-0.27

Time spent providing care for dependents living with you

1.34

1.80

***

-0.29

Time spent commuting to class

2.22

2.43

***

-0.20

Inst. emphasizes attending campus events and activities

2.85

2.64

***

0.22

Evaluation of entire educational experience

3.24

3.10

***

0.20

If you could start over again, would you go to the same institution you are now attending?

3.28

3.15

***

0.16

 

Seniors

 

 

 

 

Worked on a project that required integrating ideas or information from various sources

3.35

2.29

*

0.08

Emailed a professor

3.39

3.27

***

0.15

Coursework emphasized memorization tasks

2.63

2.74

***

-0.12

Number of short problem sets

2.44

2.31

**

0.11

Exercised or participated in physical fitness activities

2.69

2.55

***

0.13

Participated in activities to enhance your spirituality

2.19

1.90

***

0.27

Time spent working for pay on campus

1.58

1.73

**

-0.09

Time spent commuting to class

2.51

2.60

**

-0.08

Inst. emphasizes attending campus events and activities

2.55

2.43

***

0.13

Inst. emphasizes using computers for academic work

3.54

3.41

***

0.17

Evaluation of advising

2.76

2.65

**

0.10

Evaluation of entire educational experience

3.24

3.08

***

0.12

If you could start over again, would you go to the same institution you are now attending?

3.29

3.11

***

0.21

 

 


Results: Respondent comments

 

What follows is a very terse content analysis of the additional comments students submitted in an optional open-ended format.

 

Summary assessment:  Many students appended short and very favorable comments (e.g. “I love GVSU!”), while a few added harsher assessments of the overall GVSU experience (“I would not recommend this school to my worst enemy.”).  Overall, the raves outnumber the rants about 15 to 1.  Many comments made reference to GVSU helping students grow in ways other than the acquisition of knowledge and skills.

 

Faculty and Staff:  By far the most common comment about GVSU professors characterizes them as helpful and dedicated.  Less common motifs among the comments were (in approximate order from frequent to infrequent): the teachers are great; most teachers are great but some are terrible; teachers assign too much work; teachers are uncaring; course difficulty is too variable depending on the instructor; there are too many adjunct professors; teachers indoctrinate with political views.

Comments on non-faculty staff were less common, and were more evenly split between “they were very helpful” and “they were very unhelpful”.

 

Diversity:  About a dozen students volunteered that GVSU needs better support for people from diverse backgrounds.  Nearly that many others simply said more diversity is needed.  About ½ a dozen said the institution overemphasizes diversity.  Four comments alleged racism/sexism/ homophobia on campus, and a few complain of these types of bias in Allendale or by visiting groups.

 

Advising:  Comments about advising were overwhelmingly negative.  Negative comments outnumbered positive ones by about 5 to 1. Positive comments tended to praise a single individual (“My advisor has been great role model and very supportive throughout my undergraduate career.”). Negative comments about advising are far more common among seniors than freshmen.  Aside from the negative and positive comments, there were also handfuls of comments to the effect that a) advisors should be more proactive/instigate contact with students, and b) all advising should be done by professional advisors, not professors.

 

Curriculum:  About 20 students characterized the curriculum as “challenging”, while only one said it was too easy.  About 15 students commented unfavorably about General Education requirements, mostly themes. Many others said that the curriculum is too long, and a handful complained about course content overlap.  Five or six volunteered that they like and/or appreciate GVSU’s liberal education focus.

 

Campus life:  Several students (mostly freshmen) commented that their social life is unfulfilling.  A dozen comments on campus activities were split evenly between “there should be more” and “they should be better publicized”. Several students had complaints about on-campus housing conditions or experiences, and there were several complaints about strict policing.

 

Miscellaneous:  About a dozen students said life’s difficult for non-traditional students – some said GVSU needs to do more for them, others seemed grateful for support they’ve received.  Several students complained about computer availability – either in labs or in other spaces.  Four students commented that athletics get too much emphasis at GVSU.