New Survey, Same Engagement

Written By Allie Grasgreen for Inside Higher Ed

In its 15th year, the National Survey of Student Engagement launched a new model that takes an updated and more qualitative approach to measuring students’ participation in a variety of activities — from studying to faculty interaction to cooperative learning — that are thought to correlate with higher learning outcomes.

Results show that while many students engage in such practices – and report better grades for it – many others, whether because of their major or their status as online or first-generation students, don’t.

And in a special section examining students’ use of academic advisers, NSSE (pronounced “Nessie”) found some disconcerting results.

“If one student in 10 never sees an adviser, that’s really a shocker,” NSSE Director Alexander C. McCormick said during a recent visit to Inside Higher Ed, where he discussed the revised survey and its findings. “It’s an enduring issue, and I think a lot of institutions are challenged by that.”

In fact, only 40 percent of students identified an adviser as their primary source of academic advice; others turned to friends, family and professors. This is “concerning,” the report says, given the importance of advising in student success.

“Are they not getting what they need, or do they think they don’t need it?” asked McCormick, who is also an associate professor of educational leadership and policy studies at Indiana University.

Student perceptions of academic advisor activities

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