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WSU seniors, first-year students prepare to take NSSE survey in March

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All first-year students and seniors at Washington State University are encouraged to take the National Survey for Student Engagement (NSSE) starting March 1 to provide information that will help shape the future programming of the institution.

Emails will go to students system-wide on behalf of President Kirk Schulz asking for their participation in the survey. The NSSE organization collects the data and reports results back to WSU, typically in late summer. WSU, along with hundreds of other universities, has participated in bi-annual NSSE surveys since 2000. WSU data from back to 2008 is available online.

Five email sends

The month-long campaign will feature emails sent March 1, 7, 20, 23, and 28. A tile in myWSU portal also provides access to the survey. Students completing the NSSE by April 15 will be entered into campus gift card drawings, though they can respond throughout April and into May. Once the student completes the survey, no further email requests will be sent to them.

Results impact planning

“The data WSU receives from NSSE surveys is very valuable and helps us plan at the university as well as the department levels,” said William B. Davis, vice provost for academic engagement and student achievement. “We depend on the help of all faculty and staff to stress to first-year and senior students the importance of taking the survey. NSSE is a university-wide initiative that has the potential to impact all students and allow us to make the institution ever better.”

Survey results indicate students’ participation in programs and activities that are provided for their learning and personal development, and how undergraduates spend their time, what they gain from college, and their overall satisfaction with WSU. Results can also indicate how WSU is measured against a comparison group. NSSE 2023 results may be particularly useful, as WSU will have data from before (2019), during (2021), and after (2023) the fully remote experience of the COVID‑19 pandemic.

In the past, students’ answers to NSSE questions have led WSU to create support for undergraduate research, more support for internships, and more study abroad opportunities. Campuses will receive disaggregated results to learn more about their students’ experiences and engagement. 

A university-wide effort

Kimberly Green, director of the Office for Assessment for Curricular Effectiveness (ACE), leads the university-wide administration of the survey. A committee made up of faculty and staff members, plus technology staff, has prepared for months for the 2023 survey rollout. In addition to direct encouragement from faculty in classes, for example, students will be reminded of the NSSE opportunity through ongoing flyers, digital signage, newsletters, and social media on each campus. Access to NSSE promotional materials is available online.

In additional to general results from NSSE, Green noted that ACE collaborates with Institutional Research to prepare additional data disaggregation and analysis for general education (University Common Requirements or UCORE) and colleges, as well as departments that have sufficient response rates from their senior majors.

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