Assessment, Accreditation and Strategic Planning

National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE, "Nessie")

About NSSE

Each spring, more than 1 million students (freshmen and seniors) at 500-600 colleges and universities nationwide are asked to participate in NSSE, self-assessing their level of their involvement in approximately 85 areas related to positive learning experiences. The results are then used to generate 5 NSSE benchmarks which research has empirically linked to effective educational practices. These benchmarks are: 1) level of academic challenge, 2) active and collaborative learning, 3) student-faculty interactions, 4) enriching educational experiences, and 5) supportive campus environment.

Western's History with NSSE

The NSSE measures the actual experiences students report regarding their academic and personal development. With Western's commitment to the core values of Academic Excellence, Educational Opportunity, Personal Growth, and Social Responsibility, the NSSE provides an excellent benchmarking tool to measure progress in achieving its strategic planning goals

As an integral part of our Higher Values in Higher Education strategic plan, Western began annual participation with NSSE in Spring 2004 with a pilot study of randomly selected freshmen and senior student input. Finding the results beneficial in helping Western meet the goals of its strategic plan, in Spring 2005 the NSSE effort was expanded to include Westerns' entire freshmen and senior student population. These 2005 NSSE results established the baseline from which subsequent improvement in the student engagement factors that are proven links to effective educational practices could be measured. Western is committed to participating in the NSSE each Spring.

Western's NSSE Results