Jillian Kinzie, Associate Director, NSSE Institute, and Sarah Hurtado, NSSE Institute Project Associate, recently hosted a webinar on how student affairs professionals can incorporate NSSE data into their work. The webinar provided a review of literature articulating the importance of assessment in student affairs and professional competencies related to assessment, evaluation, and research. This review was followed by an overview of student engagement theory and the types of NSSE questions (i.e., behavioral and perceptual) student affairs professionals can ask in relation to student engagement. The presenters then summarized the NSSE core survey and topical modules and discussed specific items that offer insight into the work of student affairs professionals.
Jillian and Sarah reviewed the data and reports provided by NSSE and how student affairs professionals can effectively use them to assess their programs. For example, the presenters recommended disaggregating data by various student characteristics using the data file, identifying strengths and weaknesses based on comparisons in the institutional reports, and determining a plan of action for improving practices to promote student learning and success. During years when an institution does not participate in NSSE, we recommend a review of research findings, institutional examples, and summary tables in NSSE's Annual Results and Lessons from the Field series.
This webinar also provided an overview of a number of resources available to NSSE users that better position them to utilize their NSSE data. These resources, which can be found on the NSSE Institute website, include the NSSE Item Campuswide Mapping, NSSE User's Guide, and the NSSE Report Builder. Lastly, the presenters shared multiple examples of how institutions have successfully used their NSSE data to make improvements in student affairs.