About NSSE

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What is the survey about?

Survey items on The College Student Report represent empirically confirmed "good practices" in undergraduate education. That is, they reflect behaviors by students and institutions that are associated with desired outcomes of college. NSSE doesn’t assess student learning directly, but survey results point to areas where colleges and universities are performing well and aspects of the undergraduate experience that could be improved.

How are survey results used?

Institutions use their data to identify aspects of the undergraduate experience inside and outside the classroom that can be improved through changes in policies and practices more consistent with good practices in undergraduate education. This information is also used by prospective college students, their parents, college counselors, academic advisors, institutional research officers, and researchers to learn more about how students spend their time at different colleges and universities and what they gain from their experiences.

NSSE's widespread use has spawned several other nationally used instruments including:

History

Conceived in 1998 as a new approach to gathering information about collegiate quality and piloted in 1999 with funding from The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Read our Origins and Potential written to document the 10-year anniversary of the 2000 survey administration.

The questionnaire was updated in 2013 to develop new measures, refine existing measures, improve clarity, and update terminology.

Evidence-Based Improvement in Higher Education

Center for Postsecondary Research
Indiana University
School of Education
201 N. Rose Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405-1006
Phone: 812.856.5824
Email: