West Texas A&M University

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Learning Assessment National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)

National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)

Note: Most of the descriptions of NSSE, Themes, and Engagement Indicators were taken directly from reports provided by NSSE to WTAMU.

Executive Summary

  • WTAMU participated in the 2013 and 2014 administrations of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE).
  • For the 2013 administration, the response rate for first-year students was 14% (140 out of 989), and for senior students was 18% (424 out of 2,364). For the 2014 administration, the response rate for first-year students was 16% (133 out of 826), and for senior students was 21% (455 out of 2,205). (Note: Participation includes both full and partial completions.)
  • In both 2013 and 2014, WTAMU senior students rated their “Quality of Interactions” on campus higher than students at institutions in all three primary comparison groups (Southwest Public institutions, similar Carnegie Class institutions, and all NSSE respondents) at a statistically significant level.
  • In 2013, first-year students at WTAMU rated their “Student-Faculty Interactions” higher than students at institutions in all three primary comparison groups (Southwest Public institutions, similar Carnegie Class institutions, and all NSSE respondents) at a statistically significant level.
  • In 2013, first-year students at WTAMU rated their “Quality of Interactions” on campus higher than students at institutions in two comparison groups (Southwest Public institutions and all NSSE respondents) at a statistically significant level.
  • In 2013, senior students at WTAMU rated their experiences with faculty members’ “Effective Teaching Practices” as statistically significantly higher than students in the Southwest Public institutions comparison group.
  • In 2014, first-year students at WTAMU rated the institution’s “Supportive Environment” as significantly higher than students at similar Carnegie Class institutions.
  • The following table shows areas in which WTAMU students rated the institution at least comparable to institutions with average scores in the Top 50% and Top 10% of all NSSE participants in 2013 and 2014:
  First-year Students Senior Students
2013 Discussions with Diverse Others (Top 50%) Learning Strategies (Top 50%)
  Student-Faculty Interactions (Top 10%) Effective Teaching Practices (Top 50%)
  Effective Teaching Practices (Top 50%) Quality of Interactions (Top 50%)
  Quality of Interactions (Top 10%)  
  Supportive Environment (Top 50%)  
2014 Quantitative Reasoning (Top 50%) Learning Strategies (Top 50%)
  Student-Faculty Interactions (Top 50%) Quantitative Reasoning (Top 50%)
  Effective Teaching Practices (Top 50%) Quality of Interactions (Top 50%)
  Supportive Environment (Top 10%)  

Introduction

According to the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), NSSE is designed to capture “two critical features of collegiate quality:

  • amount of time and effort students put into their studies and other educationally purposeful activities, and
  • how institutional resources, courses, and other learning opportunities facilitate student participation in activities that matter to student learning" (http://nsse.iub.edu/html/about.cfm).

NSSE surveys first-year and senior students to assess their levels of engagement and related information about their experiences at their institution. Beginning with the 2013 administration, the primary constructs included in NSSE results are the 10 Engagement Indicators (EI) that are clustered into four Themes. By combining responses to related NSSE items, each EI offers summary-level information about a distinct aspect of student engagement. The 10 EIs are based on three to eight survey items each (a total of 47 survey items across all EIs), which are organized into four broad Themes:

  • Academic Challenge
  • Learning with Peers
  • Experiences with Faculty
  • Campus Environment.

The following report provides a comparison of responses from first-year students and senior students at WTAMU with five comparison groups:

  • Southwest Public Institutions
  • Carnegie Classification Institutions (Master’s Colleges and Universities (larger programs))
  • NSSE 2013 & 2014 - All Completers
  • NSSE Top 50% of High-performing Institutions
  • NSSE Top 10% of High-performing Institutions

Throughout the report, references to levels of “significance” refer to statistical significance at either p < .05, p < .01, or p < .001.

2013 Administration

First-year Students

Academic Challenge

WTAMU first-year students rated WTAMU lower than all other comparison groups in level of academic challenge. The difference was statistically significant (p<.05) for Higher-Order Learning, Reflective & Integrative Learning, and Learning Strategies when compared to responses from students in similar Carnegie classification universities and for Higher-Order Learning and Learning Strategies when compared with all other NSSE completers. In comparison to the Top 50% and Top 10% of institutions, WTAMU first-year students rated the institution lower on each of the Engagement Indicators for Academic Challenge at a statistically significant level.

Academic Challenge Graph

Learning with Peers

WTAMU first-year students rated Collaborative Learning at levels similar to students at Southwest Public universities, universities with the same Carnegie classification, and all NSSE participants. WTAMU students rated Discussions with Diverse Others slightly higher than did students at Southwest Public universities, universities with the same Carnegie classification, and all NSSE participants. Furthermore, WTAMU students rated Discussions with Diverse Others as comparable with students at institutions with average scores placing them in the Top 50% percent of all NSSE 2013 institutions. WTAMU first-year students rated the university significantly lower than both the Top 50% and Top 10% on Collaborative Learning, and lower than the Top 10% on Discussions with Diverse Others.

Learning with Peers Graph

Experiences with Faculty

WTAMU first-year students rated Student-Faculty Interaction significantly higher than students at Southwest Public universities, universities with the same Carnegie classification, and all NSSE participants. While WTAMU first-year students rated Effective Teaching Practices equal to or higher than these three reference groups, the differences were not statistically significant. In comparison to the highest performing institutions, WTAMU was higher than the average of the Top 50% institutions on Student-Faculty Interaction, while also being comparable to the Top 10% on Student-Faculty Interaction. Although comparable to the Top 50% on Effective Teaching Practices, WTAMU first-year students rated the institution lower than the Top 10% at a statistically significant level.

Experiences with Faculty Graph

Campus Environment

WTAMU first-year students rated Quality of Interactions with others on campus significantly higher than students at Southwest Public universities and all NSSE 2013 participants, as these ratings were comparable to both the Top 50% and Top 10% of NSSE institutions. There was no difference between the ratings of WTAMU first-year students and any of the primary reference group students with regard to Supportive Environment, while WTAMU was comparable to the Top 50% of institutions and was lower than the Top 10% at a statistically significant level on this Engagement Indicator.

Campus Environment Graph

Senior Students

Academic Challenge

WTAMU senior students rated WTAMU at a similar level on each of the Academic Challenge Engagement Indicators when compared to students from Southwest Public universities, similar Carnegie classification universities, and all other NSSE completers. While none of these differences were significant, WTAMU seniors rated the university higher than each of these three reference groups on the Learning Strategies indicator. In comparison to the Top 50% and Top 10% of institutions, WTAMU senior students rated the institution comparable to the Top 50% of institutions on Learning Strategies, while these ratings were lower than the Top 50% and Top 10% on the other Engagement Indicators at a statistically significant level.

Academic Challenge Graph

Learning with Peers

WTAMU senior students rated Collaborative Learning lower than students at Southwest Public universities and all NSSE institutions at a significant level, while rating WTAMU significantly lower than Southwest Public universities on Discussions with Diverse Others. WTAMU senior students rated the university significantly lower than both the Top 50% and Top 10% on Collaborative Learning and Discussions with Diverse Others.

Learning with Peers Graph

Experiences with Faculty

WTAMU senior students rated Student-Faculty Interaction higher than students at Southwest Public universities, universities with the same Carnegie classification, and all NSSE participants, although not at a statistically significant level. On Effective Teaching Practices, WTAMU seniors rated the institution significantly higher than Southwest Public universities, and higher than universities with the same Carnegie classification, and all NSSE participants. In comparison to the highest performing institutions, WTAMU was comparable to the average of the Top 50% institutions on Effective Teaching Practices. WTAMU senior students rated the institution lower than the Top 50% institutions on Student-Faculty Interaction, and lower than the Top 10% on Student-Faculty Interaction and Effective Teaching Practices at a statistically significant level.

Experiences with Faculty Graph

Campus Environment

WTAMU senior students rated Quality of Interactions with others on campus significantly higher than students at Southwest Public universities, similar Carnegie Class institutions, and all NSSE 2013 participants, as these ratings were comparable to the Top 50% of NSSE institutions. There was no statistically significant difference between the ratings of WTAMU senior students and any of the primary reference group students with regard to Supportive Environment. WTAMU seniors rated the institution lower than the Top 10% on Quality of Interactions, and lower than both the Top 50% and Top 10% of institutions on Supportive Environment at a statistically significant level.

Campus Environment Graph

2014 Administration

First-year Students

Academic Challenge

WTAMU first-year students rated WTAMU lower than the comparison groups (Southwest Public universities, Carnegie Class institutions, and NSSE 2013 & 2014 institutions) on the Engagement Indicators comprising Academic Challenge. None of the differences were statistically significant. In comparison to the top performing institutions, WTAMU first-year students rated the institution comparable to the Top 50% of institutions on Quantitative Reasoning. The university was rated significantly lower than both the Top 50% and Top 10% on Higher-Order Learning and Reflective & Integrative Learning, while being rated lower than the Top 10% on Learning Strategies at a significant level.

Academic Challenge Graph

Learning with Peers

WTAMU first-year students rated both Collaborative Learning and Discussions with Diverse Others at levels similar to students at Southwest Public universities, universities with the same Carnegie classification, and all NSSE participants. WTAMU first-year students rated the university significantly lower than the Top 10% on both Engagement Indicators in this Theme.

Learning with Peers Graph

Experiences with Faculty

WTAMU first-year students rated Student-Faculty Interaction and Effective Teaching Practices higher than students at Southwest Public universities, universities with the same Carnegie classification, and all NSSE participants, although these differences were not statistically significant. In comparison to the highest performing institutions, WTAMU was comparable to the average of the Top 50% institutions on Student-Faculty Interaction and Effective Teaching Practices, while WTAMU first-year students rated the institution lower than the Top 10% at a statistically significant level on both Engagement Indicators.

Experiences with Faculty Graph

Campus Environment

WTAMU first-year students rated Quality of Interactions and Supportive Environment higher than students at Southwest Public universities, same Carnegie Class institutions, and all NSSE 2014 participants, with the difference between WTAMU students and the Carnegie Class institutions being statistically significant. For the Supportive Environment indicator, the ratings of WTAMU first-year students were comparable with both the Top 50% and Top 10% of institutions. The WTAMU mean score on Quality of Interactions was significantly lower than the Top 10% of institutions on this indicator.

Campus Environment Graph

Senior Students

Academic Challenge

WTAMU senior students rated WTAMU at a similar level on each of the Academic Challenge Engagement Indicators when compared to students from Southwest Public universities, similar Carnegie classification universities, and all other NSSE completers. While none of these differences were significant, WTAMU seniors rated the university higher than or equal to each of these three reference groups on the Higher-Order Learning, Learning Strategies, and Quantitative Reasoning indicators. In comparison to the top-performing institutions, WTAMU senior students rated the institution comparable to the Top 50% of institutions on Learning Strategies and Quantitative Reasoning. Ratings for Higher-Order Learning and Reflective & Integrative Learning indicators were lower than the Top 50% group at a significant level, while all Academic Challenge indicators were lower than the Top 10% group at a statistically significant level.

Academic Challenge Graph

Learning with Peers

WTAMU senior students rated the institution lower on both Learning with Peers indicators when compared to students at Southwest Public universities, similar Carnegie Class institutions, and all NSSE institutions. Of these lower ratings, Collaborative Learning was significantly lower than Southwest Public universities and all NSSE institutions, while Discussions with Diverse Others was significantly lower than Southwest Public institutions. WTAMU senior students rated the university significantly lower than both the Top 50% and Top 10% on Collaborative Learning and Discussions with Diverse Others.

Learning with Peers

Experiences with Faculty

WTAMU senior students rated Student-Faculty Interaction and Effective Teaching Practices higher than students at Southwest Public universities, universities with the same Carnegie classification, and all NSSE participants, although not at a statistically significant level. WTAMU senior students rated the university significantly lower than both the Top 50% and Top 10% on Student-Faculty Interaction and Effective Teaching Practices.

Experiences with Faculty

Campus Environment

WTAMU senior students rated Quality of Interactions with others on campus significantly higher than students at Southwest Public universities, similar Carnegie Class institutions, and all NSSE 2013 participants, as these ratings were comparable to the Top 50% of NSSE institutions. There was no statistically significant difference between the ratings of WTAMU senior students and any of the primary reference group students with regard to Supportive Environment. WTAMU seniors rated the institution lower than the Top 10% on Quality of Interactions, and lower than both the Top 50% and Top 10% of institutions on Supportive Environment at a statistically significant level.

Campus Environment Graph