ROCK HILL, S.C. - First-time students and seniors at Winthrop University who took a recent national survey reported that they are more active in university life than many of their counterparts at other colleges.Their significant engagement in the university experience was reflected in all five areas of the National Survey of Student Engagement. The five benchmarks are: level of academic challenge, active and collaborative learning, student-faculty interactions, enriching educational experiences and a supportive campus environment. Winthrop’s students were among 478,000 freshmen and seniors at 769 four-year colleges and universities in the United States and Canada to complete the survey. Nearly 390 first-year students and seniors from Winthrop completed the survey in spring 2008.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’s results exceeded those of its peers at other master’s granting universities in all five categories. It is the only public institution in South Carolina to have administered the survey each of the past eight years.Some of the highlights of Winthrop’s results include:• Both first-year and senior students reported this year making more class presentations, working on a project that required integrating ideas from various sources, including diverse perspectives in classwork, working with faculty members on activities other than coursework and participating in a community-based project than their counterparts at other similar institutions.• Winthrop’s first-year students and seniors reported more favorably than their peers that they attended an art exhibit, play, dance, theatre or concert and that they completed foreign language coursework.• New students said they sent significant amounts of time studying, receiving the support they needed to succeed academically and having contact with students from other economic, social and racial backgrounds. They also believed they received more job or work-related knowledge and were writing and speaking more clearly and effectively.• Senior reported talking more about career plans with a faculty member or advisor and completing a senior experience projects more often than their peers.The NSSE results for Winthrop can be found at http://www.winthrop.edu/effectiveness/nsse/The National Survey of Student Engagement is supported by a grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts and cosponsored by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and The Pew Forum for Undergraduate Learning.
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