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Surveys of Student Engagement

Student perceptions are positively related to student satisfaction and achievement. Thus Western Illinois University, through the University Assessment Office located in the Office of Planning, Budget and Institutional Research, conducts several broad surveys of students’ attitudes and perceptions to supplement more traditional learning outcome assessments.

A. BEGINNING COLLEGE STUDENT SURVEY OF STUDENT ENGAGEMENT (BCSSE)

The Assessment Coordinator annually surveys incoming freshmen expectations regarding their collegiate academic and co-curricular experiences, using the Beginning College Student Survey of Student Engagement. Results are compared with end of freshmen year responses in a companion survey instrument (below) to help assess how well the University is helping students achieve desired learning outcomes.

B. NATIONAL SURVEY OF STUDENT ENGAGEMENT (NSSE)

The Assessment Coordinator annually surveys seniors about their perceptions of the academic and co-curricular experiences they have engaged in while attending Western Illinois University, using the National Survey of Student Engagement. These results are utilized as both the academic and co-curricular level to enhance programming that promotes the achievement of desired learning outcomes.

C. FIRST YEAR EXPERIENCE FRESHMAN SURVEY

The University Assessment Office surveys all new freshmen and their FYE faculty each semester in terms of both academic and co-curricular programming to assess the added value aspects of the FYE program. Locally developed instruments are used.

D. GRADUATING SENIOR SURVEY

As each Western Illinois University undergraduate files their application for graduation, they are surveyed regarding perceptions of their education in their major program, in general education, and in general aspects of their education at the university. The results from this locally developed survey are used as a part of the assessment of academic program and support structures at the University.

E. ALUMNI SURVEYS

On a rotational basis at 1, 5, and 9 years post-graduation, undergraduate alumni are surveyed and asked to reflect on their Western Illinois University major program, general education, and general aspects of their education at the University. These results, given the added opportunity for graduates to reflect back on their experiences and how they prepared them for their current and future career aspirations provides additional information that assists the University in assessing its academic program and support structures.