ROCK HILL, S.C. – Seniors at Winthrop University who took a recent national survey reported working more closely with their professors on career plans and on outside activities than many of their counterparts at other colleges.
Their significant engagement in the university experience was reflected in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). Results from NSSE show how first-year students and seniors might learn and develop at a given college in five areas.
The five benchmarks are: level of academic challenge, active and collaborative learning, student-faculty interactions, enriching educational experiences and a supportive campus environment. To see Winthrop's results, click here.
Winthrop’s students were among 367,318 students from 640 institutions in the United States and Canada who completed the 2009 survey online. At Winthrop, 328 first-year students and 146 seniors participated. Winthrop is the only public institution in South Carolina to have administered the NSSE in each of the past seven years.
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 plan to use the NSSE results to help improve retention.
Some of the highlights of Winthrop’s results include:
• Both first-year and senior students reported this year making more class presentations 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 received quality advising, spent significant time studying, participated in a community service project and had contact with students from other economic, social and racial backgrounds. They also believed they were writing and speaking more clearly and effectively.
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.