National University




National University Tops Nationwide Benchmarks for Academic Challenge at Four-Year Institutions

November 20, 2009

LA JOLLA, CALIF. -- For the eighth year in a row, National University, California's second largest, private non-profit institution of higher education, has surpassed nationwide benchmarks measuring the level of academic challenge at four-year colleges and universities, according to data from the 10th annual report of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) entitled Assessment for Improvement: Tracking Student Engagement Over Time.

The NSSE 2009 Report is sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The report seeks to assess the extent to which undergraduate students are involved in educational practices that are empirically linked to high levels of learning and development.

The NSSE Annual Report is a leading tool for assessing the quality of undergraduate education. This year’s report details results from a 2009 survey of 360,000 students attending 617 U.S. colleges and universities.

The survey annually provides diagnostic, comparative information about effective educational practices at participating colleges and universities. Five key areas of educational quality are measured: 1) Level of Academic Challenge, 2) Active and Collaborative Learning, 3) Student-Faculty Interaction, 4) Enriching Educational Experiences, and 5) Supportive Campus Environment. The scores present a uniform means for assessing student behavior and institutional practices.

The level of academic challenge was assessed by polling students on the number of assigned textbooks, the number of written papers or reports required, the emphasis of the coursework, and other factors.

The NSSE 2009 Report, Assessment for Improvement: Tracking Student engagement Over Time, can be downloaded from the NSSE Web site (www.nsse.iub.edu) or it can be ordered for $20 from the National Survey of Student Engagement, Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research www.nsse.iub.edu, School of Education, 1900 E. 10th Street, Suite 419, Bloomington, IN 47406-7512.

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