2006-11-13 NSSE: National Tops Nationwide Benchmarks for Academic Challenge

La Jolla, Calif. — For the fifth year in a row, National University has surpassed nationwide benchmarks measuring the level of academic challenge at four-year colleges and universities, according to data from the 5th annual report of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) entitled “Engaged Learning: Fostering Success of All Students.” The survey results were released on November 13, 2006.

The NSSE 2006 Report is sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. It 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. The number of colleges and universities using NSSE has grown from 276 in 2000 to 523 this year.

NSSE is accompanied by a benchmark report that provides participating institutions with comparative scores in five criteria, including level of academic challenge, active and collaborative learning, student-faculty interactions, enriching educational experiences and supportive campus environment. The scores present a uniform means for assessing student behavior and institutional practices. 

Analysis of this year’s survey was based on more than 260,000 randomly selected first-year and senior students at 523 four-year colleges and universities across the United States.
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 2006 Report, “Engaged Learning: Fostering Success of All Students,” may be obtained from the National Survey of Student Engagement, Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research, School of Education, 1900 E. 10th Street, Eigenmann Hall, Suite 419, Bloomington, IN 47406-7512. The NSSE website is nsse.indiana.edu/nsse/.

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