National survey finds ASC students satisfied with education

(03-25-2009)

Most Adams State students are satisfied with their college experience, according to results of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). "We talk about the high level of support and personal attention we give students, and now we have definitive national evidence that our students appreciate and benefit from the Adams State culture," said Adams State Provost Michael Mumper.

The NSSE is administered annually to help colleges and universities improve student learning. In 2008, NSSE randomly selected first-year and senior students from 769 colleges and universities. At Adams State, 83 first-year students and 108 seniors participated.

The survey explores five indicators of effective educational practice as a measure of student engagement:

  1. level of academic challenge
  2. active and collaborative learning
  3. student-faculty interaction
  4. enriching educational experiences
  5. supportive campus environment

Mumper said, "These indicators are so important because the more that students are engaged in campus life, the more likely it is that they will persist and graduate"

Freshmen rated Adams State higher in all five categories than their Rocky Mountain peers. They also reported more engagement than their peers in the Rocky Mountain region and across the country. For example, 90 percent of freshmen and 91 percent of seniors positively rated their relationships with faculty members, while nationally, 71 percent of freshmen and 77 percent of seniors felt this way.

Ninety percent of freshmen are satisfied with their overall educational experience, and 84 percent feel the college has a substantial commitment to their academic success.

Seniors at Adams State exceeded peer averages in measures of active and collaborative learning and enriching educational experiences. For example, both seniors and freshmen exceeded comparison groups in having a serious conversation with students of another race or ethnicity or with other religion/politics/values.

Mumper said Adams State participates in the NSSE every three years. The college plans to begin surveying faculty and alumni on student engagement, as well, rotating through surveys every three years.

"This will allow us to gather longitudinal data that will reveal trends and variations," he added.

By Julie Waechter