Public Reporting

Public Reporting of Student Engagement Results

Prospective students, parents, the media, researchers, and others have expressed interest in seeing institutionally-specific NSSE results. Many NSSE institutions have made some or all of their results publicly available in some form (e.g. Web site, alumni magazine, press release). Others use NSSE primarily as a diagnostic tool for improvement. Some are triangulating the results with other data before deciding on appropriate communication strategies.

NSSE's Position

NSSE encourages public reporting of student engagement results in ways that serve to increase understanding of college quality and that support institutional improvement efforts.

Publicizing institutional results from the NSSE survey provides an opportunity to educate the public about the value of student engagement as an approach to assessing college quality. NSSE especially supports public reporting of student engagement results in ways that enable thoughtful, responsible institutional comparisons while encouraging and celebrating institutional diversity.

Although the decision to publicize NSSE results properly resides with the institution, NSSE endorses institutional transparency in ways consistent with the above statement.

As set forth in the NSSE Participation Agreement, NSSE does not make institutional results available to third parties. Institutions are free to share their results, as stated in the NSSE Participation Agreement. After thoroughly vetting the results, they are encouraged to:

  1. Focus on educationally meaningful indicators that are linked to student success in the context of the institution's mission.
  2. Provide a rationale for the choice of comparison groups so that others can draw their own conclusions about the merits of the comparisons.
  3. Explain the types of students, variety of behaviors, and institutional conditions the indicators represent as well as what can and cannot be concluded from them.

See our position on Use of Student Engagement Results for Rankings

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: