FHSU students to participate in NSSE survey

HAYS, KS -- Over the next few months, randomly selected first-year and senior students at Fort Hays State University and about 365 other colleges and universities across the nation will share their views by completing a short survey called "The College Student Report 2002."

The survey is provided by the National Survey of Student Engagement and focuses on what students do and what they say about their college experience. Rankings in magazines are based mostly on what students were like when they started college before their entrance exam scores or high school class rank. The rankings also emphasize what institutions have -- numbers of faculty members, library books, computer terminals and so forth. Oddly enough, what matters most to student learning -- what they do with the resources their school provides -- gets little attention in most surveys, but not in the "Report."

The "Report" takes students less than 15 minutes to complete in either the paper or Web version. The questions are about how and where students spend their time, the nature and quality of their interactions with faculty members and peers, and what they have gained from their classes and other aspects of their college experience. All these activities are directly related to desired outcomes of college.

The participation of FHSU is consistent with the university's decision to pursue a path towards continuous quality improvement, as evidenced by its Commitment to Excellence Award from Gov. Bill Graves at the Kansas Award For Excellence Foundation banquet in 2001. The survey will serve as a suggestion box and will gain the attention of people who can make changes for the better. Results of the survey will be reported and made public in the institution's performance scorecard.

The National Survey of Student Engagement is supported by a grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts and is cosponsored by the Pew Forum on Undergraduate Learning and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The results from the NSSE survey are being used to help colleges and universities improve undergraduate education by providing valuable information about student engagement in learning and learning outcomes.

Additional information about the National Survey of Student Engagement is available at the Web site www.iub.edu/~nsse/.

The Pew Charitable Trusts is a philanthropic organization that is supporting the project as a public service to colleges and universities. The Trusts support nonprofit activities in the areas of culture, education, the environment, health and human services, public policy and religion. Based in Philadelphia, the Trusts make strategic investments to help organizations and citizens develop practical solutions to difficult problems. In 2001, with approximately $4.3 billion in assets, the Trusts committed over $230 million to 175 nonprofit organizations. For more information on the Pew Charitable Trusts visit the Web site at www.pewtrusts.com/.

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Kent Steward, Director   |  ksteward@fhsu.edu  |  Kurt Beyers, Assistant Director   |  kbeyers@fhsu.edu