NSSE Responds to Challenging Times
These are challenging times indeed. Foremost in our minds we hope you, your loved ones, and your campus community are healthy and taking the necessary precautions to stay that way. Like everyone, NSSE project staff have been busy for the last several weeks determining how to address the issues the coronavirus pandemic has presented us. Our most pressing need has been to limit the impact on over 600 NSSE 2020 participating institutions as much as possible.
As of March 18, 85% of participating institutions had already delivered at least four out of their five standard email recruitment messages, resulting in the vast majority of responses for this administration. Institutions still sending recruitment messages have been encouraged to consider adjusting delivery schedules, altering message content to acknowledge current circumstances, and preparing up to three institution-generated reminder messages. For more information, refer to our dedicated web page detailing how NSSE, FSSE, and BCSSE are facing the challenges of this pandemic.
Many of our NSSE and FSSE 2020 participating institutions have sent us questions and feedback related to disruptions of normal operations and their administrations. We encourage all those interested to join us for a live, complimentary webinar, “NSSE & FSSE 2020: Guidance on COVID-19 Disruptions,” on Thursday, March 26 at 2:00 pm (EDT). Register here to participate, and as part of your registration feel free to submit questions or suggestions that you would like NSSE and FSSE staff to address during the presentation. The webinar will also be recorded and posted to our website.
To contact us, please email staff members directly or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For NSSE 2020 administration questions, email your Project Services team. It may take longer than usual to respond, so we thank you in advance for your patience.
Wanted: Your Input to Inform Plans for NSSE’s Third Decade
We are thrilled to celebrate twenty years of NSSE! Since its first national administration, in 2000, NSSE has helped focus the national discourse about college quality on teaching and learning and has provided more than 1,600 colleges and universities diagnostic, actionable data to inform the improvement of undergraduate education.To plan for NSSE’s 3rd decade, we’re conducting a series of listening sessions (see a summary of our first session here) and activities to gather input from NSSE institutional contacts, administrative leaders, assessment and institutional research professionals, faculty and staff, and higher education scholars regarding current needs and concerns about undergraduate education and student success. We are eager for input on the following questions:
- What aspects of student learning and success deserve further study?
- What is on the assessment horizon that NSSE should take into account?
- What are anticipated campus and state data and reporting needs?
- What suggestions do you have for NSSE’s third decade?
Record your responses to these questions on NSSE’s 20th Anniversary Feedback Form.
Have You Seen Our Annual Results Yet?
First, some good news. Student engagement has improved over time. Efforts to improve the quality of higher education between 2004 and 2019 have reaped gains in first-year student interactions with faculty, time spent on academic preparation, and perceptions of the campus environment, according to NSSE’s Engagement Insights: Survey Findings on the Quality of Undergraduate Education—Annual Results 2019, released in February, along with a brief digest of the results.
Quality beats quantity in academic advising. We also found that the quality of academic advising is more important than the frequency in first-year student perceptions of support for academic success, use of learning support services, and interactions with faculty. Even more, first-year students who experienced high-quality advising had twice as much interaction with faculty and were much more likely to express an intention to return to the same institution the following year.
Another study found that persistence had the strongest positive correlations with Quality of Interactions and Supportive Environment, two of NSSE’s Engagement Indicators. Students who persisted also spent more time preparing for class and were more likely to report their institution emphasized spending significant amounts of time on academic work.
These findings, along with additional insights from the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE), related examples of institutional data use, and a summary of students’ participation in High-Impact Practices can be found in Annual Results 2019.
BCSSE 2020 Registration Now Open
BCSSE works with colleges and universities across the US and Canada to collect—and use—important information about incoming students’ experiences and expectations for college. Institutions use BCSSE results to inform academic advising, first-year experience programs, retention initiatives, faculty development, and key activities focused on learning and development. The many uses of BCSSE data available to participating institutions are described in their stories.
While richly informative as a stand-alone survey, BCSSE realizes its maximum benefit when paired with an administration of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) the following spring.
BCSSE now targets three distinct groups of entering students: 1) recent high school graduates, 2) transfer students, and 3) older students with little or no prior experience in higher education.
Since BCSSE has no registration deadline, you can choose to register for BCSSE up to two weeks prior to your administration start date.
For more information about BCSSE, view Introduction to BCSSE 2019, a webinar recorded on March 26, 2019.
To register or to learn more about BCSSE, go to bcsse.indiana.edu.
New for 2020, FSSE added items to the core survey to gain a better understanding of faculty’s sense of belonging, teaching environments, and participation in high-impact practices. Check out items 3, 5, and 8 on the Main Survey for details.In addition to informing you of changes in the survey instrument, FSSE wants to keep you updated on trends in survey participation. Here is FSSE by the numbers:
- 120 institutions are participating in FSSE this administration.
- Over 75% of institutions selected a Topical Module, and why not because the first one is always free! Academic Advising was the most popular module with Inclusiveness and Engagement with Cultural Diversity being a close second.
- Three consortia are collaborating to gather information about their specific institution types— Catholic Colleges & Universities, Mission Engagement Consortium for Independent Colleges, and the newly formed Consortium of Online Learning. Consider forming a consortium with your colleagues in the future!
If you have any questions please reach out to the FSSE team at email@example.com.
Leverage Your NSSE Data with a Customized Action Plan
Apply to the Summer Institute for Improving Undergraduate Education – July 13-16, 2020. While the coronavirus situation is still evolving, we remain committed to delivering a robust and well-planned summer institute in July that ensures the high-quality experience you expect. To support our community, we are suspending all deadlines. If you have plans to bring a team to the summer institute, all you need to do is send a brief email to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can hold your spot.
If you are looking for highly effective targeted ways to leverage your NSSE data specifically to study and create more equitable high-quality learning and teaching experiences, consider bringing your team to an intensive adult summer camp on the Puget Sound—the 5th Annual Washington Center Summer Institute for Improving Undergraduate Education. We will convene July 13–16, 2020, with institute, housing, and meals on the campus of The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA.
This summer institute will offer your campus team tailored resources, time to think and plan collaboratively, and a supportive network of talented coaches and presenters who will guide your team through the process of developing a two-year action plan.Areas of focus include:
- Learning communities
- Guided pathways
- Assessment of student learning
- Accreditation planning
- Faculty/staff development
- Equitable student outcomes
- Supporting adult learners
Successful teams have 4+ people, with at least one faculty member, one student affairs staff member, and one academic administrator.
Registration fees are $1,400 per team member. Email the Washington Center NOW at email@example.com to hold your spot and ensure your team application is considered at the final institute planning meeting.Fees include:
- Lodging in Evergreen's apartment-style dorms July 13–16 (Thursday night lodging is included in the cost of attending).
- All meals, served in the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center, with the exception of one dinner, for which you can explore Olympia's eateries.
- Carefully curated plenaries and sessions to support your planning.
- Dedicated support from skilled, experienced resource faculty.
NSSE will co-sponsor the 5th Annual Washington Center Summer Institute Improving Undergraduate Education in partnership with the Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education, and the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (WSBCTC).
Research Highlights from NSSE SightingsNSSE Sightings, NSSE’s blog, shares current findings and more from NSSE, FSSE, BCSSE, and other projects at the Center for Postsecondary Research. The latest postings feature an overview of student engagement over the past two decades, highlights of NSSE’s 2020 administration, information for BCSSE 2020 registration, an update on NSSE’s research partnership with ACUHO-I, and a summary of a study about roommate choice and campus environment for students of color. Postings that focus on faculty perspectives include an overview of a study of faculty motivations for doing research and a summary of an exploration of engagement-related practices of faculty who teach honors courses. The following are just some of the professional meetings where NSSE staff have presented this winter:
- AAC&U 2020 Annual Meeting
- Annual Conference on the First-Year Experience
- ACPA 2020 Convention
- 2020 Diversity, Equity, and Student Success Conference
New National Advisory Board Members—Welcome!
The NSSE team is delighted to welcome three higher education leaders to our National Advisory Board. Over the coming years we look forward to learning and benefitting from the wealth of diverse experiences they bring to the project.
Javaune Adams-Gaston, President, Norfolk State University
Peter Felten, Executive Director, Center for Engaged Learning, Elon University
Susana Rivera-Mills, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Ball State University
AIR 2020 Annual Forum Status Update
NSSE staff plan to attend the Association for Institutional Research (AIR) Annual Forum in New Orleans this May. Of course, the coronavirus pandemic may prevent us from doing so, but we are hopeful nonetheless. Our staff will be ready to present papers and posters, facilitate discussion groups, host our special interest group meeting, and, of course, meet face-to-face with our many users at our booth.