With finals looming, challenge yourself with this quiz about NC State students.
True or false? Compared to their peers at other large, public research universities:
- Our seniors are more likely to report participating in community service or volunteer work
- Our freshmen and seniors make class presentations and participate in group projects more often.
- Our students are less likely to have off-campus jobs and family responsibilities.
- Our freshmen and seniors are more likely to say they’d choose NC State if they had it to do over.
If you said that all of the above are true, congratulations! You must have spent time poring over the results from the 2009 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE).
Nice work, but you didn’t have to. Dr. Nancy Whelchel, assistant director for survey research, has already done the hard work, and you can find a NSSE summary online – your Cliff Notes from University Planning and Analysis.
NSSE zeroes in on how engaged students are in learning, based on responses from a sample of freshmen and seniors. Unlike national rankings that primarily focus on reputation and resources, NSSE gives a student perspective on the college experience.
NC State “fared quite well,” compared with overall results from 17 similar universities that participated in NSSE, Whelchel said.
The comparison group includes universities with more than 20,000 students and very high research activity, such as Maryland, Texas A&M and Minnesota.
NC State had higher average ratings in three of five areas:
- supportive campus environment
- active and collaborative learning
- student-faculty interaction
Whelchel was surprised that students reported fewer work and family responsibilities off campus than their peers elsewhere, but said that may have allowed time for greater involvement in community service and campus activities.
Other noteworthy results: high ratings for quality of advising and active computer use for assignments.
“The results tell us what we are instilling in students – what we do well along with areas where we can improve,” Whelchel says.