For the past ten years in a row, National University, the second-largest private, nonprofit institution of higher education in California and the 12th-largest in the United States, has surpassed nationwide benchmarks measuring the level of academic challenge at four-year colleges and universities, according to data from the 12th annual report of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) entitled Fostering Student Engagement Campuswide—Annual Results 2011.
The 2011 NSSE 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 2011 survey of 416,000 students attending 673 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 2011 NSSE Report, Fostering Student Engagement Campuswide—Annual Results 2011, can be downloaded from the NSSE Web site (nsse.iub.edu) or it can be ordered for $20 from the National Survey of Student Engagement, Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research, School of Education, 1900 E. Tenth Street, Suite 419, Bloomington, IN 47406-7512.