Assessment, Accreditation and Strategic Planning

National Survey of Student Engagement - 2009 Campus Results

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) evaluates the effectiveness of productive student engagement each year by surveying college freshmen and seniors. The NSSE results a summarized across five nationally recognized effective educational practice benchmarks: Level of Academic Challenge, Active & Collaborative Learning, Student-Faculty Interaction, Enriching Educational Experiences, and Supportive Campus Environment. In Spring 2009, more than 367,000 students from among 640 colleges and universities participated in NSSE.

Data for Western’s 2009 NSSE results are based on the participation of the 19% of our freshmen and 29% of our seniors who elected to participate in the online national survey.

National Benchmark Comparisons - Longitudinal Analysis 2005-2009

Western Illinois University’s comparative levels of achievement for each of these NSSE benchmarks are determined by assigning a value of 100 to the normative score attained by all participating institutions with our same Carnegie classification.  WIU values exceeding the national Carnegie class average are above 100% and those WIU values not reaching the national average are below 100%.

Western’s comparative score is presented graphically below for each of the 5 effective educational practice benchmarks. Additional reports provide a tabular comparison for each of the considered elements of the five effective educational practice benchmarks, as well as present results by campus and college.

Level of Academic Challenge

Spring 2009 saw a virtually maintained Level of Academic Challenge, with seniors continuing to report higher levels of academic challenge than freshmen. However, except for the Spring 2006 peak at 102% for freshmen, Western is still challenged to increase its Level of Academic Challenge to at least meet the national benchmark of 100%.

graph NSSE 2009 Level of Academic Challenge

Active and Collaborative Learning

Spring 2009 an increase in Active & Collaborative Learning for both freshmen and seniors, nearly reaching the peak seen in Spring 2006 and reversing the decline seen in Spring 2008. However, Western is still challenged to increase its Active & Collaborative Learning to at least meet the national benchmark of 100%.

graph NSSE 2009 Active and Collaborative Learning

Student - Faculty Interaction

Following on the footsteps of Spring 2008 results which saw both Western's freshmen and seniors meet the national mean for all Carnegie Master's level institutions in terms of Student-Faculty Interaction, Spring 2009 saw both groups exceed the national average. This is critical evidence of Western's strong commitment to Student-Faculty Interaction as a critical component in its Higher Values in Higher Education strategic plan. While the Spring 2009 benchmarks of 106% for freshmen and 104% for seniors do not quite reach the peak seen in Spring 2006, efforts to reverse the decline to just equal the national benchmark seen in Spring 2008 were successful and suggest continued growth.

graph NSSE 2009 Student-Faculty Interaction

Enriching Educational Experience

Spring 2009 saw some improvement for freshmen, but a continued decline for seniors in terms Enriching Educational Experience. This continues to be an area where Western is struggling in its efforts to provide students with an Enriching Educational Experience, despite ongoing initiatives to address this concern. This situation will continue to be monitored as Western seeks to at least meet the national benchmark of 100% for all of the NSSE benchmarks.

graph NSSE 2009 Enriching Educational Experience

Supportive Campus Environment

With the exception of freshmen in Spring 2005 and Spring 2007, Western has consistently exceeded the NSSE national benchmark in terms of Supportive Campus Environment. Spring 2009 proved no exception, and in fact showed improvement with both freshmen and seniors achieving 104% of the national benchmark, just short of the peak seen in Spring 2006. As with Student-Faculty Interaction, Western is committed to maintain the high level of success seen in providing a Supportive Campus Environment, striving to well exceed the national average.

graph NSSE 2009 Supporting Campus Environment


In-Depth Analysis

A more in-depth analysis providing the individual components that comprise each of the 5 NSSE benchmarks of effective educational practices is provided below in PDF format.