ROCK HILL, S.C. - Winthrop University freshmen and seniors who participated in a recent national survey reported more active learning, enriching educational experiences and more faculty interaction than many of their counterparts at other institutions around the country.
Nearly 600 first-year students and seniors from Winthrop completed the survey in spring 2006.
Winthrop’s results in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) exceeded those of its peers at other master’s granting universities in many of the five benchmark categories, according to Daniel Weinstein, executive director of Winthrop's Office of Institutional Effectiveness.
"NSSE has been an important tool for the university especially insofar as the national comparisons we can make between Winthrop and other similar institutions around the country. Winthrop faculty and staff take these results seriously and incorporate these findings into programmatic and service improvements," Weinstein said.
The five benchmarks are: level of academic challenge, active and collaborative learning, student-faculty interactions, enriching educational experiences and a supportive campus environment. Instead of rating colleges on the basis of their institutional resources and public reputation, like some college guidebooks, the NSSE results provide information to students and parents regarding effective teaching and student learning.
Winthrop’s students were among 260,000 freshmen and seniors at 523 four-year colleges and universities to complete the survey.
Some of the highlights of Winthrop’s results include:
- Annual results of the NSSE survey from 2004 to 2006 strongly support that Winthrop maintains a high level of active and collaboration learning demonstrated by first-year students and seniors. Steady increases were also reported for both groups in the category of enriching educational experiences.
Students in both categories reported this year making more class presentations, working with classmates outside of class and participating in a community-based project than their counterparts at other similar institutions.
- Both groups of students also said they were challenged to synthesize and organize ideas more than students reported at other institutions.
- Seniors reported talking about career plans with a faculty member or advisor, working with faculty members on activities other than coursework and receiving prompt written or oral feedback from faculty on academic performance. Seniors also said that they used an electronic assignment more often than their peers at other similar institutions.
- First-year students and seniors also said in the survey results that they had serious conversations with students of a different race, religion and political opinions, involvement in a practicum or internship, took a foreign language and participated in co-curricular activities more often than their peers at other institutions.
Winthrop’s first-year students reported more favorably than their peers on the quality of their relationships with other students and faculty members and being offered the help they need to succeed in academics and to thrive socially. They also said they were encouraged to have contact with students from different economic, social and racial backgrounds.
- In 2006, first-year students reported that they tutored and taught other students more than their peers at other similar institutions. Winthrop seniors in 2006 reported that they used an electronic assignment more often than their peers at other similar institutions.
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. Winthrop has participated every year since 2001.
For more information, contact Weinstein at 803/323-2169.