NSSE and the Voluntary System of Accountability
NSSE has been selected as one of four assessment instruments about students’ experiences and perceptions for the Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA). Developed through a partnership between the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the Association for Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), the VSA is designed to help institutions meet the following objectives:
- Demonstrate accountability and stewardship to the public
- Measure educational outcomes to identify effective educational practice
- Assemble information that is accessible, understandable, and comparable
The VSA’s College Portrait provides information on institutional and student characteristics, attendance costs, student engagement, and educational outcomes. This information is intended for students, families, policy-makers, campus faculty and staff, the general public, and other higher education stakeholders.
NSSE assesses student experiences and perceptions for the VSA College Portrait. As used in the VSA, NSSE reports results for seniors within six specified areas that academic research has shown to be correlated with greater student learning and development: group learning, active learning, experiences with diverse groups of people and ideas, student satisfaction, institutional commitment to student learning and success, and student interactions with faculty and staff.
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about NSSE and VSA
If you have questions about VSA and NSSE, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 812.856.5824.
- NSSE-VSA Webinar - Maximizing NSSE in the VSA
The first VSA webinar of 2012, Maximizing NSSE in the VSA: Approaches to Transparency, Accountability and Improvement , with Dr. Jillian Kinzie, Associate Director, IU Center for Postsecondary Research, took place on February 8th. Approximately 300 institutions feature NSSE results in the Student Experiences and Perceptions section of the VSA College Portrait. Some institutions have maximized this display by presenting additional results, including information about goals, institutional action on results, and improvement initiatives. This Webinar shares strategies for presenting NSSE results and approaches to engaging different audiences in the data including prospective students, the public, policymakers and the campus community. Ideas about efforts to capitalize on NSSE results to assess and improve quality in the undergraduate experience and student success are also exchanged. The Webinar recording is available for viewing on the VSA site, http://voluntarysystem.org/index.cfm?page=LearningOutcomes .
- SPSS syntax to simplify recoding your NSSE data for the College Portrait template
- NSSE description linked in the Student Experiences section of the College Portrait
- Wondering what other NSSE data to include in "CLICK HERE for examples of how State U evaluates the experiences of its students" in the College Portrait? Here are some suggestions:
- NSSE Executive Snapshot. Or the NSSE Snapshot (beginning in 2013) Concise summary of some key findings from your institution's performance on NSSE.
- NSSE Pocket Guide Report: Answers from Students (formerly The Student Experience in Brief) Short report features primarily first-year student responses to NSSE items included in A Pocket Guide to Choosing a College
- USA TODAY Database. Web site initiative was discontinued in 2011.
- Good examples of NSSE data use to supplement VSA College Portraits
- NSSE's Position on Public Reporting of Student Engagement Results
- VSA Background and Development. McPherson, P. & Shulenburger, D. (2006). Toward a voluntary system of accountability program (VSA) for public universities and colleges. Washington, DC: National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges.