High Marks for UNC Asheville in NSSE Survey

Posted by Jessica Stowell on Sept. 28, 2015

The Office of Institutional Research, Effectiveness and Planning (IREP) administered the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) to freshmen and seniors in the 2015 spring term.  NSSE is designed to assess the extent to which students are engaged in effective educational practices and what they gain from their college experiences. Ample research on college student development shows that the time and energy students devote to educationally purposeful activities is the single best predictor of their learning and personal development.

The responses of UNC Asheville students were compared to their peers at COPLAC schools, at other schools sharing the Carnegie classification of baccalaureate arts and sciences institutions, and at other institutions in the UNC system.

Our students reported a higher degree of engagement than their COPLAC and UNC System peers, and about the same degree of engagement as their Carnegie peers, in:

  • Challenging intellectual and creative work which is central to student learning and collegiate quality;
  • Learning firsthand how experts think about and solve problems by interacting with faculty members inside and outside of instructional settings;
  • Support services and organizations that cultivate positive relationships among students, faculty, and staff; and
  • Student internships, study abroad, learning communities, undergraduate research and other high impact educational practices that are strongly predictive of success in the classroom and in the workforce.

The survey results suggest two areas for future improvement:

  • Our students were less likely than their COPLAC, UNC System, and Carnegie peers to have discussions with others from different races and ethnicities. This is despite the finding that our students were more likely to experience diverse perspectives (race, ethnic, political, economic, etc.) in the classroom than all three groups and that our students were more likely than their COPLAC peers to report significant learning gains in the area of understanding diverse perspectives.
  • Our students reported less progress than their UNC System peers in acquiring skill at analyzing numerical and statistical information.

Visit NSSE for additional information about the 2015 NSSE survey results for UNC Asheville.

Visit Institutional Research News for other information about developments in institutional research, effectiveness and planning at UNC Asheville.