2011 marks the third year UBC is participating in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). The survey will be administered to all first- and fourth-year undergraduate degree students beginning February 1 and ends on March 28.
UBC is committed to using the NSSE results, to continue shaping an environment of excellence for learning and personal development of undergraduate students.
What is the NSSE?
The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) is a comprehensive study that measures five key benchmarks across first- and fourth-year student populations. Since its first administration in 2000, over 1,400 North American universities and colleges have participated in NSSE. It is widely recognized as a pre-eminent tool for providing benchmarks for the effectiveness of undergraduate education at an institutional level.
Why is the NSSE important?
The NSSE results provide information that faculty, staff and others can use immediately to improve the undergraduate experience. Some examples of changes on our campus as a result of the NSSE include:
In 2008, first-year NSSE results produced:
- Collegia spaces
- The Student event desk
- Longer open hours for the Learning Centres
- Supplemental learning groups
- Club development support through Campus Life
- E-mentor program for first-year students (which has developed into the First-year Experience Program)
In 2008, fourth-year NSSE results produced:
- Co-curricular Certificate (recognition of campus contributions)
- Stronger student leadership program
- New senior positions in the Collegia Program, Learning Centres and First-year Experience
- Student Volunteer Program (run by students for students)
- Diversity programming; examples include OutWeek, Global Fest and Hope for Haiti
Encourage student participation
In 2008, the NSSE participation rate was 22 per cent; the goal for 2011 is to increase it to 50 to 60 per cent.
The campus community’s help is needed to achieve this. When speaking at a student function with first- and fourth-year students, faculty and staff are encouraged to mention NSSE and encourage their participation. The message should be relevant to students — e.g., how have past survey results lead to specific changes in the range and types of educational programs and services offered to our students.
Please do not contact students directly by email or during class to encourage participation. NSSE is both an institutional improvement effort and a research project.
Other important details to know regarding student participation:
- Only first- and fourth-year students will be sent an email invitation from NSSE
- The email invitation will include a link and log in instructions to complete the survey
- Runs from February 1 to March 28
- Takes 20 minutes to complete
- All completed surveys are entered to win one of three prizes – more information below
Prize incentives for students to complete the NSSE
Let students know that they will be entered to win one of three travel prizes when submitting the completed survey. The prizes include:
- One $500 gift certificate
- Two $250 gift certificates
Prizes are redeemable for airline travel anywhere, any time. Winners will be randomly selected at the end of the survey administration without breaching the confidentiality of the NSSE responses and will be notified by email.
Additional strategies to increase awareness of the NSSE on campus
- Six life-size signs (of Okanagan campus students who are in first- and fourth-year) – located in high traffic in-door locations and will move weekly to a different location
- NSSE post cards – at key student service points and in holders on the life-size signage
- Internal Fact Sheet (to support conversation – peer-to-peer and faculty/staff-to-student) – will be distributed via e-mail to staff and faculty
Video and Electronic Communication
- NSSE video production (featuring three of UBC’s Okanagan campus students who are in first- and fourth-year) – to play on all TVs
- Electronic sign at UBC entrance
Web communications and social media
- Web page for NSSE information – www.ubc.ca/okanagan/nsse
- Web presence on appropriate and high traffic student web pages
- Mention at appropriate and key events, e.g. Opening Ceremonies of OutWeek – Feb. 1
For additional information / contact:
Additional information about NSSE, including results for prior years can be found at: http://www.pair.ubc.ca/surveys/nsse/index.htm
If you have any additional questions, suggestions or concerns, please contact:
- Sham Pendleton, UBC NSSE Project Manager.
- Stephanie McKeown, Senior Planning Analyst for the Office of the AVP Students.