The National Survey of Student Engagement

What is the NSSE

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) assesses students' perceptions of how they allocate time towards their education and how the institution provides resources and opportunities that encourage learning. Participating institutions can compare their results to national benchmarks and evaluate how students perceive their undergraduate experiences. UNL administers the NSSE to first-year and senior students every three years in the spring semester. Results provide benchmarks for institutional change as well as national reporting. UNL participated in the NSSE in 2007, 2010, 2011 (Pilot study), 2012 (Pilot study), 2013 and 2016. For additional information on the NSSE survey, visit NSSE.

2016 UNL Results

UNL Students were surveyed in February of 2016. Overall response rates were 27% for first-year students and 23% for seniors (Big 10/Regents’ comparisons were 19% for first-year and 17% for seniors). Because women and full-time students are consistently overrepresented among respondents, NSSE weights results by gender and enrollment so that institutional estimates reflect the UNL student population.

The majority of students reported taking 4-5 courses at the time of administration, and respondents indicated that most of their grades were A's and B's. Most respondents began their education at UNL (84% of first-year and 71% of seniors), and 37% of first-year and 30% of seniors indicated they were first-generation students.

Satisfaction

Overall, both first-year and senior students reported they were very satisfied with UNL. Respondents rated their experience at UNL as 'Excellent' or 'Good' (first-year: 89%; seniors: 85%), and 87% of first-year and 82% of seniors reported they would 'Definitely' or 'Probably' attend UNL again. In addition, UNL students reported they planned to participate in various enriching activities prior to graduation.

Percentage of Student Responses
Student Satisfaction

When asked how much their experiences at UNL contributed to their knowledge, skills, and personal development, students answered ‘Very much’ or ‘Quite a bit’ to the following:

  • Thinking critically and analytically (79% first-year, 87% senior).
  • Analyzing numerical and statistical information (57% first-year, 68% senior).
  • Acquiring job- or work-related knowledge and skills (55% first-year, 67% senior).

Quality Interactions

The Quality of Interactions indicator rates students’ interactions with students, advisors, faculty, student services staff, and administrative staff. Compared to Big 10/Regents peers, UNL scored significantly higher for the Quality of Interactions engagement indicator (first-year: p<.001, d = .13; senior: p<.001, d =.17).

Quality of Interactions at UNL
Quality Interactions

In addition to outperforming our peers on overall quality of interactions at UNL, a greater percent of UNL first-year and senior students’ responses were a 6 or a 7 (on a scale from 1=”Poor” to 7=”Excellent”) for the quality of interactions with the following groups:

 First-YearSeniors
Academic Advisors +6% +5%
Student services (career services, student activities, housing, etc.) +5% +5%
Other Administrative staff and offices (registrar, financial aid, etc.) +6% +7%

Providing a Supportive Environment

Respondents identified areas where UNL can focus efforts to improve student experiences. Questions for the Supportive Environment indicator address perceptions of how UNL encourages student well-being and supports students’ academic success. Compared to our Big 10/Regents peers, scores were non-significantly lower for first-year (p=.121, d = -.05) and significantly lower for senior students (p<.05, , d = -.096).

Supportive Environment
UNL's supportive environment

Specific items within the Supportive Environment scale identify areas where UNL advisors and support staff can focus efforts to improve student experience. Students would like more opportunities to engage with people different from themselves. Students also would like more referrals to learning and academic support services. Compared to our Big 10/Regents Peers, UNL scores lower in providing the following environmental supports:

 First YearSenior
Encouraging contact among students from different backgrounds (social, racial/ethnic, religious, etc.) -1% -4%
Using learning support services (tutoring services, writing center, etc.) -2% -4%
Helping you manage your non-academic responsibilities (work, family, etc.) -4% -8%
Providing opportunities to be involved socially -2% -5%
Helping students manage their non-academic responsibilities -7.8% -9.1%
Using learning support services (tutoring services, writing center, etc.) -1.7% -3.7%
Providing opportunities to be involved -2.4% -4.9%

UNL Brief Reports

Student Success Reporting & Analytics has prepared 2-page reports that highlight key findings from questions pertaining to instructors, advisors, and student services staff. In addition, the recent survey administration included modules on Global Learning and Experiences with Diverse Perspectives.

Instructors Report

For Instructors

Compared to Big 10/Regents peers, UNL scored significantly higher for the engagement indicators of Student-Faculty Interaction (first-year: p<.01, d = .07) and Quality Interactions (first-year: p<.001, d = .13; senior: p<.001, d =.17).

View the Report
Student Support Services Report

For Student Support Services

UNL first-year and senior students clearly recognize advisors’ and support staffs’ efforts to help an enriching educational environment. Compared to Big 10/Regents peers, UNL scored significantly higher the Quality of Interactions engagement indicator (first-year: p<.001, d = .13; senior: p<.001, d =.17).

View the Report
Advisers Report

Global Learning Module

Over half of respondents believe UNL emphasizes or provides courses and activities that focus on global and international topics.

View the Report
Experiences with Diverse Perspectives Module Report

Experiences with Diverse Perspectives Module

Students believe that UNL emphasizes participation in activities that focus on societal differences and backgrounds.

View the Report