Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the purpose of the Report Form?
A: The Report Form collects information used to generate your Institutional Report. Four items require your attention:
- Customize your comparison groups.
- Identify the comparison group to be the basis for your Snapshot report.
- Verify your institution’s formal and short names used in report titles and headings.
- Confirm executive contact information used to mail the Annual Results publication to your campus.
Q: Are institutions required to complete the form?
A: No, but we highly recommend you take the opportunity to customize so that your reports are aligned with your assessment needs. If you don’t customize a given comparison group you will receive a default set of institutions based on your institution’s characteristics.
Q: What are the default comparison groups?
A: The default comparison groups are:
- Group1—All other prior- and current-year institutions in your geographic region and sector (private/public).
- Group 2—All other prior- and current- year institutions with the same Basic Carnegie classification.
- Group 3—All other prior- and current-year U.S. institutions (Canadian institutions get all prior- and current- year U.S. and all other prior- and current-year Canadian institutions).
If you participated in a consortium or Topical Module, your default comparison group for that report consists of all other prior- and current-year institutions that administered the consortium or module questions.
Q: Can we change our selections?
A: You may return to the form and edit information as often as you like until the form closes.
Q: How should we decide which institutions to select for our comparison groups?
A: Institutions have different reasons for selecting comparison groups such as to match institutional characteristics (e.g., size, setting, or selectivity), special missions (e.g., land grant, religious, or technical), geographic region (e.g., Midwest), or locale (e.g., urban). You may also consider “institutional peers” (common peer comparison groups used by your institution) or “aspirational peers” (institutions considered high performers in some dimensions). When in doubt, the default comparison groups provide fairly distinct comparisons that are appropriate for most institutions.
You may also ask for assistance from your NSSE Project Services Team. The document “Customizing Your NSSE Report” is available to guide your selections.
Q: Can we select institutions that participated last year as well as this year?
A: Yes. Comparison groups may include both current-and prior- year participants.
Q: The form does not allow some users to select a default group. Why is that?
A: Institutions that do not have certain default criteria must select a comparison group. For example, if your institution does not have a Carnegie Classification (or if this group has fewer than five NSSE-participating institutions) that default group is not available.
Q: Which version of the Carnegie Classifications is used in this year’s form?
A: The 2018 Carnegie Classifications will be used in this year’s form. The prior classifications will not be available for selection as the 2018 update retains the same structure of six groups that parallel the 2015 Classification.
Q: How can I be sure our comparison groups were entered correctly?
A: The form will display your currently selected comparison institutions. There is also an option to generate an email that lists your selections. Finally, you will receive a confirmation email of your selections after the Report Form closes. If this information is incorrect, please contact your NSSE Project Services Team.
Q: What is the deadline for completing the Report Form?
A: Please complete by Friday, May 28.