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 SRU Rates High on National Student Engagement Survey 

 

SPOTLIGHT

Dec. 7, 2006

Contact: Gordon Ovenshine: 724-738-4854; gordon.ovenshine@sru.edu

SLIPPERY ROCK UNIVERSITY RATES HIGH ON NATIONAL STUDENT ENGAGEMENT SURVEY

    SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Results from the 2006 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) show that Slippery Rock University students consistently rate their experience at SRU higher than do students attending peer institutions.

     NSSE, launched in 1999 with a grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts, involves surveying randomly chosen first-year students and seniors. Students are asked a series of questions about their level of involvement in certain activities that show a high correlation to five learning benchmarks, including student-faculty interaction and academic challenge.

     “These survey data prove that ‘It's a great time to be at Slippery Rock University,’ is more than just a tagline. We’ve made an incredible commitment to improving each student’s curricular and co- curricular learning experience and the physical learning environment.These data show that students find those changes to be very positive,” said Robert Smith, SRU president.

     The five benchmark categories surveyed include: level of academic challenge; active and collaborative learning; student-faculty interaction; enriching educational experiences, and supportive campus environment.

    Freshman SRU students recorded scores that were statistically higher than their respective peer institutions in all five categories and exceeded the national average of all participating NSSE institutions in three of five categories – active and collaborative learning, student-faculty interaction and enriching educational experience.

     Seniors at Slippery Rock University recorded responses higher than peer institutions in all five categories and exceeded the national average of all participating NSSE institutions in four of the five categories – level of academic challenge, active and collaborative learning, student-faculty interaction and supportive learning environment.

    “We are especially pleased that our seniors, those students who have been here for three or more years and who really know the institution intimately, rated their experience so high,” Smith said.

     SRU seniors gave high marks to their professors with 77 percent reporting that they received prompt written or oral feedback from faculty compared to just 63 percent in the national group. Slippery Rock University students also outpaced their peers in the area of community service or volunteer work with 72 percent reporting that they had participated in such activities compared to only 59 percent in the total NSSE sample.

    Results from the NSSE survey will be used as part of Slippery Rock University’s continuous improvement program.

    “As a University we are accountable to a variety of stakeholders including parents, students, legislators, accrediting bodies and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. This survey is just one of a wide-range of assessment activities the University routinely utilizes to help us measure our effectiveness and strengthen the learning environment.” Smith said.

NOTE TO EDITORS: A Copy of the Survey results can be found at:

http://www.sru.edu/pages/8179.asp

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