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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is there an additional fee for participating in NSSE as part of a state system? Only if your system is also appending additional questions to the NSSE survey, in which case consortium fees apply.

How often should a system participate in NSSE?
Systems using NSSE for the first time may want to encourage their campuses to use the survey for several consecutive years to establish stable baseline or benchmark data. Thereafter, under ordinary conditions, participation every two or three years may be sufficient.

When will we receive our system reports?
State system reports are prepared after individual campuses receive their Institutional Report and are typically delivered in September.

Where will state system reports be sent?
Institutional Report packages are sent to the NSSE contacts at individual institutions in early August. A copy of each individual Institutional Report and a system report is provided in October to the designated system coordinator.

What other options are available to systems?
Systems may participate in the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE) and/or the Beginning College Survey of Student Engagement (BCSSE). Used together, NSSE, FSSE, and BCSSE help systems and institutions better understand the factors that influence student and faculty engagement, take stock of their performance in meeting accountability measures, and act on what they learn.

EXAMPLES OF HOW SYSTEMS
HAVE PUT NSSE DATA TO USE

Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education

NSSE and the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) were used to measure progress on question four of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education's Public Agenda—on preparation of college graduates for life and work in Kentucky. NSSE and CCSSE results have been used to support institutional improvement and accountability among the council's institutions. The council has also used NSSE to assess the civic engagement of undergraduate students in Kentucky's public four-year institutions.

South Dakota Public Universities

Data obtained from five NSSE administrations beginning in 2002 revealed upward trends in student engagement for all six public universities in the South Dakota system. Longitudinal analyses showed strong links between student performance and student-faculty interaction. In addition, the level of student effort—inside and outside the classroom—was positively correlated with outcomes in areas such as critical thinking, academic performance, and persistence.

The South Dakota Board of Regents noted that this improvement may have been influenced by two crucial policy issues: (1) the expansion of the universities' research capacity to foster more collaboration on projects between students and faculty and (2) a salary competitiveness plan that helps South Dakota system institutions retain high quality faculty.

Tennessee Publics

The Tennessee Board of Regents used their 2013–2014 NSSE results to disaggregate the traditional and adult/ nontraditional student groups in the Tennessee Publics System. Adult/nontraditional students, defined as students age 25 or older, are a growing student population at Tennessee Publics, as at many colleges and universities.

The Board of Regents used this NSSE data to "provide institutional knowledge of what resources, strategies and policies may influence the overall rate of adult/ nontraditional student engagement." NSSE results for adult/nontraditional engagement in the High-Impact Practices and the 10 Engagement Indicators were used to supplement other data sources in the board's effort to develop recommendations and next steps to enhance support for adult/nontraditional students.

University of Wisconsin Comprehensives

The University of Wisconsin System annually publishes detailed accountability reports reflecting the system's "longstanding commitment to demonstrating its accountability to the citizens of Wisconsin" and covering "a broad spectrum of higher education performance measures that address diverse constituent interests."

Knowledge Powers Wisconsin's Future: UW System's Annual Accountability Report presents the measurement of university performance within UW System's Strategic Framework, consisting of seven core strategies: Prepare Students, Stronger Workforce, Stronger Businesses, Stronger Communities, Resources, Operational Excellence, and Collaborations. Updates on system progress toward these accountability goals—broken down into specific subgoals, or benchmarks—are provided in summary charts that state the targeted outcome for each subgoal along with the current status of the system's progress toward that outcome.

For the Critical Thinking subgoal, "Meet or exceed national benchmarks in fostering the development of critical thinking skills," NSSE scores of UW seniors are compared to overall NSSE cohort results on survey items related to critical thinking skills and on items related to high-impact practices such as learning communities, service-learning, research with faculty, internships, and senior capstone experiences.

NSSE results are also used to report on the measures of Student Experiences and Perceptions, including Group Learning Experiences, Active Learning Experiences, Institutional Commitment to Student Learning and Success, Student Satisfaction, Student Interaction with Campus Faculty and Staff, and Experiences with Diverse Groups of People and Ideas.