NSSE and the VSA

NSSE and the Voluntary System of Accountability

In 2018, the VSA released a suite of visualizations on the new VSA website, which replaced the College Portrait. The new VSA platform does not feature NSSE measures.

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.

NSSE/VSA Resources

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: