|College shines in National Survey of Student Engagement
Centre exceeds all its benchmarks
RELEASED: Nov. 21, 2002
DANVILLE, KYFor the third consecutive year Centre College fared extremely well in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE).
Centre ranked in the 90th percentile in four of the five benchmark categories of effective educational practice for first-year students in the recently released 2002 NSSE report, and in the 80th percentile in the fifth. The survey now includes more than 600 colleges and universities. Centre has consistently scored at the top of the sample.
For the 2002 survey NSSE added a more demanding scale of comparison, using a college's predicted rate of success based on its institutional characteristics. A large university might be expected to score lower than a small residential college on the NSSE scale, and thus would have a lower predicted benchmark. Even with the tougher standard, Centre exceeded all of its benchmarks, indicating that the College matched or topped the records of similar colleges.
The five areas of NSSE "engagement" criteria measure level of academic challenge, active and collaborative learning, student interactions with faculty, enriching educational experiences, and supportive campus environment.
The survey asks college freshmen and seniors to assess how they spend their time with questions such as: How many hours do you study? How often do you talk to faculty members or students with different political beliefs? What are some of your outside-the-classroom activities? The survey measures how well colleges and universities engage their students in the essential learning experiences of higher education.
Centre's freshmen and seniors record an extraordinary degree of engagement in the learning process in scoring in the top 20 percent of nearly all of NSSE's categories when compared both to national liberal arts colleges and to the sample of colleges and universities as a whole.
Most comparisons among colleges are made on the basis of impressions and inputs. In contrast to the systems used by U.S. News, which depend on prestige, finances and admissions data, the NSSE displays students' views of the outcomes of their education.
"While it's not surprising that Centre does extremely well in the NSSE report," says Dean John C. Ward, "it's gratifying to have our success validated by such a respected research tool. In fact Centre, as a residential liberal arts
college devoted to personalized teaching and learning, should score at the top of the sample every year, and does."
Centre president John Roush applauds the openness of the process.
"The system of higher education always improves as we share good information about what works. Centre is proud of its ability to engage its students meaningfully and expects to provide an example for others as we all try to improve what we do," he said.
- end -
600 W. Walnut Street
Danville, KY 40422
Public Information Coordinator: Telephone 859-238-5714