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11/17/2011

National Survey Shows First-year Students Have Favorable Image of Winthrop

Quick Facts

 The survey asks first-year students and seniors about five key areas: academic challenge, learning, interaction with faculty, educational experiences and the campus environment.
 Winthrop’s participants - 612 first-year students and seniors - were among students from 647 institutions in the United States and Canada who completed the 2011 survey online.

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ROCK HILL, S.C. – An overwhelming number of first-year students at Winthrop University reported on a national survey that they have a favorable image of the institution, and a large majority of seniors would choose Winthrop again if they could start their college career over.

Their university experience was reflected in the National Survey of Student Engagement’s “Fostering Student Engagement Campuswide” annual results for 2011. The survey asks first-year students and seniors about five key areas: academic challenge, learning, interaction with faculty, educational experiences and the campus environment. To see Winthrop's results, click here.

The survey question asking students about their overall education experience revealed that 93 percent of first-year students reported a favorable image of Winthrop. Of the seniors surveyed, 83 percent said they would attend Winthrop again if they could repeat their college experience.

Winthrop’s participants - 612 first-year students and seniors - were among students from 647 institutions in the United States and Canada who completed the 2011 survey online. Winthrop has given the survey for eight of the 11 years the survey has been administered.

The annual survey provides information regarding effective teaching and student learning at a university, instead of rating colleges on the basis of their institutional resources, students’ incoming SAT scores and public reputation, like some college guidebooks. Studies have found that the more students are actively involved in their learning and campus life, the more successful they are in other areas.

Winthrop officials have used the survey results to improve student learning and to fashion a Global Learning Initiative to offer more global learning opportunities.

Some of the highlights of Winthrop’s results include:

• More than 90 percent of first-year students reported this year that the institution placed substantial emphasis on academics. The majority of students reported a substantial emphasis at Winthrop on critical thinking: analyzing basic elements, synthesizing and organizing ideas, making judgments about information and applying theories or concepts. Winthrop has created an Academic Success Center to help students adjust to more rigorous studies.

• By their senior year, 43 percent of Winthrop students have participated in some form of practicum, internship, field experience or clinical assignment. Academic departments and the Center for Career & Civic Engagement encourage and facilitate internships.

• Half of new students report that faculty members were available, helpful and sympathetic. By senior year, 21 percent of students had worked on research with a faculty member. This number should grow as the Winthrop’s undergraduate research initiative expands.

• More than 90 percent of seniors have at least occasionally discussed career plans with faculty members. And 66 percent of seniors have participated in community service or volunteer work by their last year, which is much higher than at many of Winthrop’s peer institutions.

Launched in 2000 with a generous grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts, the National Survey of Student Engagement has been fully supported by institution participation fees since 2002. 

For more information, contact Judy Longshaw, news and media services manager, in the Office of University Relations at 803/323-2236 or longshawj@winthrop.edu.

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