National Survey of Student Engagement Shows Strength of St. Andrews
Laurinburg, N.C. – St. Andrews University has received a major recognition of institutional quality with the release of the results of the 2012 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE).
This prestigious annual survey collects information from students about the nature and quality of their undergraduate experience. This year, the survey presents data from more than 300,000 students at more than 500 institutions in the United States and Canada who filled out an extensive questionnaire asking them to rate all aspects of their educational experiences both inside and outside the classroom.
“The National Survey of Student Engagement is probably the single most important step in understanding quality in undergraduate education in more than a decade,” said Ernest T. Pascarella, Mary Louise Peterson professor of higher education at the University of Iowa. “It focuses our attention on the things that really matter.”
The responses of the St. Andrews University seniors placed St. Andrews above the national average in all five of the key NSSE Benchmark categories: Level of Academic Challenge, Active and Collaborative Learning, Student-Faculty Interaction, Enriching Educational Experiences, and Supportive Campus Environment.
This is the sixth year in a row in which St. Andrews seniors have rated their educational experience above the national NSSE average in every Benchmark category.
“This is a clear indication of why St. Andrews also appears among the best regional colleges and universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings,” said Dr. Robert J. Hopkins, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the University. “Looking back on their years at St. Andrews, our seniors feel that they have been challenged academically to do their best work. They appreciate the willingness of faculty members to work with them outside the classroom. They see themselves as active learners collaborating with both their professors and other students, not just passive listeners in the large classes that are so common at other schools. And they recognize that professors do not simply make demands, but that the whole campus provides a supportive and encouraging environment dedicated to helping them succeed."
Among other things, the Academic Challenge Benchmark looks at the degree to which students believe their coursework emphasizes analysis, the synthesis and the organizing of information; development of the ability to make judgments about the value of information or arguments; and the application of theories to practical problems.
The Active and Collaborative Learning Benchmark focuses on how often students made presentations and contributed to class discussions, worked with other students on assignments, and participated in community or service learning projects. And the Student-Faculty Interaction Benchmark focuses on how often students interacted with faculty outside of class on coursework, student life activities, or research projects.
The Benchmark for Enriching Educational Experiences asks students to indicate whether their coursework encourages them both to integrate and to apply knowledge; and what opportunities they had for activities such as internships, senior projects and capstone courses. Finally, the Supportive Campus Environment Benchmark asks students to rate the support they received to help them succeed academically, and the quality of relationships with professors, administrators, and other students.
“The Supportive Campus Environment Benchmark is an area of particular pride at St. Andrews,” said President Paul Baldasare. “We put an emphasis on being a supportive community in all aspects of the SAU experience. Having 91 percent of first year students report that their peers are friendly, supportive and give them a sense of belonging is a clear statement on how successful we are in this area.”
About St. Andrews University
St. Andrews is a student and teaching-focused University which offers a broad range of undergraduate majors in a curriculum that is global in scope and practical in its application. St. Andrews has added a first graduate level program with a Masters in Business Administration. The quality of the St. Andrews educational experience has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and GI Jobs among others. In addition to its academic programs, the University has an acclaimed university press, men’s and women’s athletic teams, a nationally competitive equestrian program, and an award-winning pipe band. St. Andrews is a branch of Webber International University, Florida. Further information may be obtained by visiting the University’s website www.sapc.edu, calling 800-763-0198, or sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.