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National Survey Gives High Marks to the DePauw Experience

November 29, 2011

103151November 29, 2011, Greencastle, Ind. — Once again, a national study finds the academic challenges provided by DePauw University are within the top 10% of colleges in the nation and that a large number of DePauw seniors report their educational experiences have been enriching. The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), "Fostering Student Engagement Campuswide -- Annual Results 2011," is the result of a survey of 416,000 first-year students and seniors attending 673 U.S. colleges and universities.

NSSE compares the DePauw experience with what is provided to undergraduates at peer institutions and the national average at all colleges and universities. The report also finds that DePauw seniors score significantly higher than both peer institutions and all schools in the categories "Active and Collaborative Learning" and that first-year students at DePauw encounter a higher "Level of Academic Challenge" than found on other campuses. 

NSSE’s annual survey results provide diagnostic, comparative information about effective educational 103149practices at participating colleges and universities. The results can be used to inform improvement efforts.

Among the 2011 findings:

  • 93% of DePauw first-year students feel the institution places substantial emphasis on academics; 69% frequently work harder than they think they can to meet faculty expectations.
  • 24% of DePauw first-year students wrote at least one paper of more than 20 pages in length, compared to 15% at peer institutions.
  • 89% of DePauw first-year students feel the institution has made a substantial commitment to their academic success.
  • By their senior year, 81% of DePauw students participated in some form of practicum, internship, field experience, co-op, or clinical assignment; 32% of students had done research with a faculty member; 83% of students had participated in community service or volunteer work.
  • By their senior year, 83% of DePauw students had made a class presentation, compared with 66% at peer colleges. Sixty percent said the institution substantially encourages contacts among diverse peers, versus 51% at peer schools.

According to Alexander C. McCormick, director of NSSE and associate professor of education at Indiana University, "The central message is that providing opportunities, activities and environments 103152supportive of learning and student success is a concern that should permeate the campus."

NSSE's 2011 survey is sponsored by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Learn more here.

Founded in 1837, DePauw is a private, selective, coeducational, residential, undergraduate College of Liberal Arts and School of Music with an enrollment of 2,394. The University's students come from 46 states and 36 foreign countries.  A faculty of 230 full-time professors ensures class sizes which average 17.5 students, engendering a rigorous academic environment that encourages participation, expression and individual attention to students' needs. 

Prospective students are invited to visit DePauw's Office of Admission online.

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