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Feb. 01, 2013
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU readies for National Survey of Student Engagement

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Two years ago, Slippery Rock University first-year students and seniors gave high marks to their experiences at the University in the National Survey of Student Engagement. Students will again have the opportunity to voice their opinions when the survey launches Feb. 12

A final reminder will be emailed March 11.

"This survey gives students the chance to provide feedback about their undergraduate educational experiences inside and outside of the classroom," said Carrie Birckbichler, associate provost for institutional research and reporting.

The upcoming survey, which will arrive by email, requires about 15 minutes to complete. The opportunity to win one of two iPads will be offered as participation incentives.

Slippery Rock University was among a select group of institutions asked to participate in a pilot of the revised NSSE survey last year. Many of the questions from the pilot survey have been incorporated into the updated NSSE survey that will be distributed to students this spring.

In addition to the traditional items covered by the survey, the updated version also asks about academic challenge, experiences with faculty, campus environment, collaborative learning and high-impact practices.

About one-fourth of the questions are new, while others have been modified from previous surveys. The 2013 survey introduces valuable new content to enrich institutional assessment efforts. The survey's signature focus remains on diagnostic and actionable information related to effective educational practice.

The NSSE survey is designed to obtain, information from more than 600 colleges and universities nationwide about student participation in programs and activities that institutions provide for their learning and personal development. The results provide an estimate of how undergraduates spend their time and what they gain from attending college. Survey items represent and empirically confirm "good practices" in undergraduate education.

"We know that certain institutional practices can lead to higher levels of student engagement. SRU undertakes a number of projects and programs that aid students, including creating opportunities for student-faculty interaction, student-staff interactions and student-student interactions; increasing opportunities for learning actively and experientially; and setting high expectations for time on task and involvement," Birckbichler said.

Results from the NSSE survey are used as part of SRU's continuous improvement process. "The survey results provide us with student engagement information that enables us to identify areas that are performing well and those areas that could be improved," said Birckbichler. "Student engagement, including the time and energy students devote to their own education, are key factors in determining the student's overall success toward graduation."

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.