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Students to participate in survey on engagement

February 16, 2012

By Kristen Mott

“Engaged Learning” is the tagline for the Cleveland State brand. It is central to the university’s mission. Now freshman and senior CSU students will have the opportunity to participate in a nationally conducted survey on student engagement and share their opinions.

CSU students will join thousands of other college students across the nation to participate in “The College Student Report” hosted through the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). Established in 2000, the NSSE survey collects information annually about student participation in campus programs and their viewpoints about academics.

Freshmen and seniors are the only groups eligible to participate in the survey. According to Teresa LaGrange, the vice provost for the Office of Academic Planning, these two groups are chosen so universities can learn about the college experiences of students who have been in college for only one year compared to those students who are on the verge of graduating.

The survey asks students questions about the intellectual challenges their university offers, their interactions with instructors, types of courses they have taken, and their opinion of campus life, among others. Each question is answered using a rating scale.
CSU will receive results from the survey sometime in the summer. The results will be shared and discussed with the senior administration at CSU before they are distributed to deans and chairs of all departments.

This is the third year that CSU has participated in the survey. LaGrange noted that results from past years have led to changes including improved Recreation Center hours, creation of a budget payment plan for students, and a revision of the General Education requirements needed for graduation.

“The results are taken seriously,” LaGrange said. “They’re analyzed seriously and have led to changes.”

The university administration is encouraging students to participate in the survey. LaGrange said that high response rate is important in order for changes to occur.
"We do want to be responsive and make changes," LaGrange said, "but getting a big response rate is really beneficial."

She explained that all viewpoints are valuable, but if only a small number of students provide feedback on a certain issue the university does not know if this isue is important to all students or just that small group.

The survey opened on Wednesday, Feb. 15. Students were sent a link in an email to participate in the survey. Students will receive follow-up reminder emails until the survey closes at the end of March.

One participating CSU student will also be chosen to win an iPad through a random drawing once the survey closes.