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National Survey of Student Engagement shows strength of St. Andrews

Laurinburg, N.C. – The 2010 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) shows that seniors at St. Andrews Presbyterian College rank their college experiences higher than the national average in five benchmark areas. This is the fourth year in a row in which St. Andrews seniors have rated their educational experience above the national NSSE average in every benchmark category.

The survey of 362,000 students attending 564 U.S. colleges and universities asks questions related to the level of an institution’s academic challenge, active and collaborative learning, student-faculty interaction, enriching educational experiences, and supportive campus environment.

“This is a highly regarded and nationally valued survey that allows colleges and universities to gain real insight into what the students are experiencing in the classroom and is widely recognized as an important measure of accountability,” said Dr. William J. Loftus, Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness at St. Andrews. “Over the years, we have routinely seen the seniors surveyed ranking their St. Andrews experience very highly in each of the survey’s key benchmark categories. The results also provide diagnostic, comparative information about effective educational practices that can be utilized in our planning processes.”

The academic challenge benchmark looks at the degree to which students believe their coursework emphasizes analysis, the synthesis and 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.

“This shows that our students are required to think seriously about the materials presented in class, instead of just memorizing facts and figures,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Robert Hopkins. “Year after year we see confirmation that our students are gaining the skills necessary to organize, use and apply knowledge in different ways. This is a critical lifetime skill.”

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. Student-faculty interaction focuses on how often students interacted with faculty outside of class on coursework, student life activities outside or research projects.

“Our faculty members serve our students as mentors, club advisors and cheering sections while also providing an education in the classroom that will serve the students well beyond their college years,” said Hopkins.

Those supportive behaviors also contribute to the high rankings given to St. Andrews in the benchmarks related to enriching educational experiences and supportive campus environments.

“This clearly shows that St. Andrews is committed across the board to doing what we say we do, educating our students to be knowledgeable and imaginative servant-leaders well prepared for a lifetime of learning, leadership and service in an ever-changing and interdependent world,” said College President Paul Baldasare. “We engage, encourage and empower our students both inside and outside the classroom and this huge national survey emphasizes just how much our students realize the value of their St. Andrews education.”

About the National Survey of Student Engagement

Each year, the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) asks students at hundreds of colleges and universities to reflect on the time they devote to various learning activities. The topics explored are linked to previous research on student success in college.

Results from NSSE can provide prospective students with insights into how they might learn and develop at a college.

To learn more, visit http://nsse.iub.edu/.


About St. Andrews Presbyterian College

An innovative and bold academic venture, the distinctive character of St. Andrews has been marked by an interdisciplinary curriculum, a highly acclaimed college press, an award-winning pipe band, national champion equestrian teams, and first-rate scholarship. In addition to classes on the main campus, adult learners also choose the Center for Adult and Professional Studies opportunities through St. Andrews @ Sandhills and St. Andrews ONLINE.

On Aug. 29, 1958, the merger between Presbyterian Junior College and Flora Macdonald College became official with the formation of St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, N.C. Further information may be obtained by visiting the College's website www.sapc.edu, calling 800-763-0198 or sending an e-mail to info@sapc.edu.


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St. Andrews University
A branch of Webber International University
1700 Dogwood Mile
Laurinburg, NC 28352
(910) 277-5555 • (800) 763-0198 • (fax) 910-277-5020
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