National Survey of Student Engagement Shows Strong Performance by Scranton

Jan 14, 2009

According to the 2008 report issued by National Survey of Student Engagement, The University of Scranton performed better than the national average of 722 participating colleges, as well as the averages for participating master’s level institutions, in nearly every category measured to estimate the effectiveness of student learning.

The University’s performance was also compared to other Jesuit institutions participating in the survey, which showed Scranton performed at the same level or better in most areas measured.

“The data suggest that The University of Scranton’s investments in its faculty, its small class sizes, and support services are being successful,” said Joseph Dreisbach, Ph.D., interim associate provost for academic affairs. “The University scored extremely well in two particular areas: the quality of faculty-student interactions, and the supportive campus environment. The high evaluations in these areas, to a great degree, reflect the commitment to the Jesuit mantra of cura personalis, which translates to “care for the whole person,” but actually connotes the intent of a Scranton education to be a transformative experience, one where individuals are recognized and empowered by others so to lead to intellectual, spiritual and moral development.” 

The 2008 report is based on data gathered from nearly 380,000 randomly selected first-year and senior students at the four-year colleges and universities in the United States that participated. The report compared the effectiveness of universities in the following five areas of performance: the level of academic challenge; creating an active and collaborative learning environment; student/faculty interaction; enriching educational experiences; and creating a supportive campus environment. The results compared the performance of each school with the average of all participating schools, schools of similar size that offer the similar degrees (master’s institutions), and that of peer institutions.

The results of the surveys of both seniors and first-year students indicate The University of Scranton performed better than master’s institutions and the national norm for schools in the level of academic challenge, providing a supportive campus environment and in establishing an active and collaborative learning environment. The seniors surveyed showed Scranton’s performance being above master’s institutions and the national norm for student/faculty interaction and enriching educational experiences. First-year student survey results indicated Scranton performed above the national norm for faculty interaction and at the norm for enriching educational experiences. This was the only category in which Scranton performed at the national norm. First year students survey results also placed Scranton at the same level with master’s institutions for student/faculty interaction and enriching educational experience.

The intent of the national project is to bring focus on indicators of effective student learning that occurs on campuses.

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