Summary of NSSE Results for GVSU Students

GVSU participates in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) every 3 years. The survey measures students' engagement in educational practices that have been demonstrated to lead to greater learning. By design, the survey is limited to students in their first year of college and those nearing graduation. GVSU's participation rate in 2019 was 31%, up from 28% in 2016, and higher than averages for other large public universities (18%-23%).

Briefly, our first-year students report high and improving levels of engagement on many of the engagement scales ("Academic Challenge", "Learning with Peers", & "Campus Environment"), but do convey some less favorable "Experiences with Faculty". GVSU first-year students report participating in fewer high impact practices than peers, but respond very positively about their academic challenge and overall experience.

The senior responses seem to indicate less academic challenge and engagement (particularly related to study behavior) , and a continued deficit in students' experience of diversity. Engagement in high-impact practices is strong, driven by capstone courses and internship/field experiences, and summative evaluations are strong compared to peers.

GVSU Results by Student Characteristics

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Additional Notes


Shading indicates areas of statistically significant difference (p<0.05). In the "executive summary" presentation, red (marked with "(-)") indicates that current GVSU results are low; blue (with "(+)") means they are relatively high. In the comparisons of GVSU results by student characteristics, blue highlighting (with "(+)") means that the value is statistically significantly higher than the rate for all participants at that level who don't fit that column's category (e.g. the female rate is compared to all who didn't report as female; CLAS is compared to all non-CLAS). Red (with "(-)") means the figure is significantly below that for the same comparison group. Click on items with "▶" to drill to the specific NSSE items contributing to each scale.

NSSE scales are only meaningful in comparative context. A "38" in Higher-Order Learning doesn't necessarily correspond to 38 of anything in particular, but the theory of the survey design says that 38 represents more engagement in higher-order learning than a 37 (and a lot more than a 31).

The results shown in the "executive summary" presentation (i.e. with years and peers in the column headings) have been re-weighted to represent the sex and enrollment status of the respective schools' populations. Results shown in the "results by student characteristics" are not reweighted.

For additional information, see also: (Excel files)