Annual Results

Engagement Insights: Survey Findings on the Quality of Undergraduate Education

Welcome to the 2020 edition of Engagement Insights, NSSE’s annual dissemination of selected research findings and institutional stories that have broad relevance to the improvement of undergraduate education.

Between November 2020 and February 2021, this page will present five data-informed treatments of important topics for higher education with special value for institutions that participated in NSSE 2020. In addition to new findings, we feature related webinars, examples of institutional use, suggestions for institutional assessment, faculty insights, and more.

Banner photo courtesy of Ashland University

Did You Know?

97%of first-year students who felt valued by their institution intended to return the following year

89%who did not feel valued intended to return

Identifying the Trust Gap Among Undergraduates

Trust in American institutions has been declining over time and higher education is not exempt from this trend. We investigate how undergraduates’ trust in institutions, their college, media, others, and civil society vary across student populations.

Coming February 2021

NSSE is an invaluable source of information that colleges and universities draw on to better understand how students spend their time and what they derive from their college experience.

Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, President, Oakland University

The 2020 Administration—Responding in a Pandemic

More than 480,000 students from 601 institutions responded to the 2020 survey. Of this group, the results presented here are drawn from 343,000 first-year and senior students from 521 U.S. institutions that participated in a standard NSSE administration. The average institutional response rate was 30%—up two percentage points from 2019. NSSE 2020 participating institutions and students reflect the diversity of bachelor’s-granting colleges and universities in the US with respect to institution type, public or private control, size, region, and locale.

While COVID-19 had a profound impact on almost all colleges and universities across North America, the vast majority of schools participating in NSSE 2020 successfully collected data. Analysis revealed survey response behavior and results to be relatively unaffected. Learn more about actions taken by NSSE to minimize the pandemic’s impact, and the various analyses completed to ensure data quality.

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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
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