News Release

News and Public Information Office
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Miami University
Oxford, Ohio 45056
(513) 529-7592
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newsinfo@miamioh.edu

Student engagement at Miami beats national average

11/17/2009

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) results are out and Miami University outranks the national average in all five benchmark categories.

First-year students and seniors at universities across the country answered multiple questions on the annual NSSE survey to determine a student’s college experience in the areas of level of academic challenge, active and collaborative learning, student-faculty interaction, enriching educational experiences and supportive campus environment.

The survey included 360,000 students overall from 617 colleges and universities. At Miami, for example, the benchmark of 60.6 for level of academic challenge among seniors beat the national benchmark of 57.0. In another category, Miami seniors’ responses to student-faculty interaction gave Miami a 46.2 benchmark over the national 42.0. Of the last three NSSE surveys taken by Miami students, the students have given the university consistently higher scores.

“Student engagement is a signal characteristic of a Miami education,” Provost Jeffrey Herbst said. “We are gratified by the results from NSSE but will continue with all of our initiatives in order to reach our strategic goal of making the Miami undergraduate experience among the very best in the nation.”

In the academic challenge category:

  • 86 percent of first-year students feel Miami places substantial emphasis on academics compared to 81 percent nationally
  • 52 percent of Miami first-year students spend more than 16 hours per week preparing for class compared to 38 percent nationally
  • 84 percent of seniors at Miami report substantial emphasis on applying theories or concepts to practical problems or in new situations compared to 81 percent nationally

In the active and collaborative learning category:
  • 72 percent of seniors at Miami made a class presentation compared to 60 percent nationally
  • 78 percent of Miami seniors worked with classmates outside of class to prepare class assignments compared to 59 percent nationally

In the student-faculty interaction category:
  • 27 percent of Miami seniors worked on a research project with a faculty member compared to 19 percent nationally
  • 89 percent of Miami seniors at least occasionally discuss career plans with faculty compared to 83 percent nationally
  • 60 percent of first-year students indicate they frequently get prompt verbal or written feedback from faculty members compared to 57 percent nationally

In the enriching educational experiences category:
  • 42 percent of Miami seniors studied abroad compared to 15 percent nationally
  • 31 percent of Miami first-year students took foreign language coursework compared to 21 percent nationally
  • 85 percent of Miami seniors did a capstone course, senior project or thesis compared to 33 percent nationally

In the supportive campus environment category:
  • 82 percent of first-year students at Miami believe the school has a substantial commitment to their academic success, compared to 75 percent nationally
  • 57 percent of first-year Miami students feel well-supported by the school regarding their social needs, compared to 48 percent nationally
  • 57 percent of first-year Miami students report their peers are friendly, supportive, and help them feel as if they belong, compared to 25 percent nationally

The NSSE survey is conducted by the Center for Postsecondary Research at Indiana University. The complete survey can be found online at http://nsse.iub.edu/bsse_2009/index.cfm.

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