The National Survey of Student Engagement was developed beginning 1999 at Indiana University to assess quality in higher education. It is part of a large and growing movement that seeks to increase transparency and accountability among higher education institutions. Conducted annually, the survey college data from a sample of freshmen and senior students. Lyon participates on a regular basis in this voluntary effort. In spring 2002 and again in spring 2005 and spring 2008, Lyon encouraged its students to engage in this survey. The findings support the overall quality of instruction and learning at Lyon College both in terms of comparison with other liberal arts colleges and with colleges and universities nationwide.
Lyon College students rated their learning experiences at the college at or above the national average on all five benchmarks in the 2008 National Survey on Student Engagement. Results of the annual survey were released today (Nov. 10) by the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research in Bloomington, Ind.
The 2008 report from NSSE is based on information from about 380,000 first-year and senior students at 722 four-year colleges and universities across the nation. The NSSE study, titled “Promoting Engagement for All Students: The Imperative to Look Within,” allows institutions to assess student learning and student involvement in their undergraduate experience.
In recent years, NSSE has garnered attention as an alternative to the various college rankings available. The students who are surveyed are randomly selected to ensure scientific validity.
The survey provides comparative standards for determining how effectively colleges are contributing to learning. Five key areas – or benchmarks – are measured: 1) level of academic challenge, 2) active and collaborative learning, 3) student-faculty interaction, 4) enriching educational experiences, and 5) supportive campus environment.
Lyon scored highest in student-faculty interaction and in enriching educational experiences. Both first-year students and seniors at Lyon scored significantly higher than the national average on both benchmarks. On the other benchmarks, Lyon was slightly higher or at the same level as the national NSSE average.
What are students saying about their Lyon College experience? Here are some of the findings in the NSSE survey:
- 96 percent of first-year students feel that this institution places substantial emphasis on academics; 91 percent of seniors feel that way, too.
- 67 percent of first-year students indicate that they frequently get prompt verbal or written feedback from faculty members; 75 percent of seniors said the same thing.
- 100 percent of seniors and 90 percent of first-year students at least occasionally discuss career plans with faculty.
- 70 percent of first-year students at least occasionally spend time with faculty members on activities other than coursework; 64 percent of seniors agreed.
- By the time they are seniors, 69 percent of students have participated in community service or volunteer work.
- 93 percent of first-year students and 91 percent of seniors report a favorable image of this institution.
- By their senior year, 69 percent of students have participated in some form of practicum, internship, field experience, co-op or clinical assignment.
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching sponsored the 2008 NSSE Report.
More detailed information about how benchmarks are created can be found on the NSSE website at .