New National Report Finds Student Engagement at DePauw to be Strong
November 10, 2008
November 10, 2008, Greencastle, Ind. - A new, national survey puts DePauw freshmen and seniors in the top 10% of all colleges and universities for the level of academic challenge they experience. The 2008 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), "Promoting Engagement for All Students: The Imperative to Look Within," also ranks DePauw seniors in the top 10% of all participating institutions nationwide for enjoying enriching educational experiences. Overall, the survey finds DePauw provides its students with more academically challenging, interactive and stimulating learning experiences than those found at peer institutions and the national average of all colleges and universities.
Released today, the report is based on information from approximately 380,000 randomly selected first-year and senior students at 722 four-year colleges and universities. NSSE is sponsored by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
"Prospective students and parents are inundated with information provided by college guides and rankings, which are almost exclusively created by for-profit entities using questionable methodology," notes DePauw President Brian W. Casey. "The National Survey of Student Engagement is based on hard, quantifiable data, and provides institutions with a statistically valid measure of how they're performing, and most importantly, how they're serving their students. As I work to further enhance the intellectual life of DePauw, this report indicates we have a very solid foundation to build upon."
The findings of NSSE, now in its tenth year, provide comparative standards for determining how effectively colleges are contributing to learning. Five key areas of educational performance are measured: level of academic challenge, active and collaborative learning, student-faculty interaction, enriching educational experiences, and supportive campus environment.
DePauw's scores are compared with the average of private liberal arts colleges (PLA), peer institutions in the Great Lakes Colleges Association and Associated Colleges of the Midwest (GLCA-ACM), and a national average of all colleges and universities benchmarked by the NSSE.
Level of Academic Challenge (includes: preparing for class, number of assigned readings, number of written papers or reports, coursework emphasizing application of theories or concept to practical problems or in new situations, campus environment emphasizing time studying):
|Private Liberal Arts Colleges||57.7||61.3|
Enriching Educational Experiences (includes: participating in co-curricular activities, internships and community service projects; study abroad; serious conversations with students of a different race or ethnicity or of different religious beliefs, political opinions or personal values; using electronic technology to discuss or complete an assignment)
Active and Collaborative Learning (includes: asking questions/contributing to class discussions, making class presentations, working with fellow students in and out of class, participating in a community-based project as part of coursework)
Student-Faculty Interactions (includes: discussing assignments and career paths with faculty member, working with faculty members on activities other than coursework, working with faculty member on a research project outside of course or program requirements)
Supportive Campus Environment (includes: provides the support students need to succeed academically, thrive socially and cope with non-academic responsibilities; quality of relationships with other students, faculty members and administrators)
The highest-performing individual areas for DePauw included:
...who wrote more than 4 papers/reports between 5-19 pages:
...who asked questions/contributed to class discussions:
...who made a class presentation:
...who spent 5+ hours/week participating in co-curricular activities:
...who worked with classmates outside of class to prepare assignments:
...who read more than 10 assigned books or book-length packs of readings:
...who wrote more than 4 papers or reports between 5 and 19 pages:
..who wrote more than one paper or report 20 pages or longer:
...who spent 10+ hours/week preparing for class:
...who completed a culminating senior experience (thesis, comp. exams):
"At a time when U.S. standards for higher education are being evaluated in a competitive global context, NSSE data provide real insights into the qualities of the campus learning environment," according to Molly Corbett Broad, president of the American Council on Education.
On a national basis, the 2008 report found:
- First-year students wrote, on average, 92 pages during the academic year, while seniors totalled 146 pages.
- When courses provided extensive, intellectually challenging writing experiences, students engaged in more deep learning activities such as analysis, synthesis, and integration of ideas from various sources, and they grappled more with course ideas both in and out of the classroom. These students also reported greater personal, social, practical and academic learning and development.
Visit the National Survey of Student Engagement's Web site by clicking here.Back