Survey Gives University High Marks in Faculty-Student Interaction, Community Service, Academic Challenges

KINGSVILLE - January 26, 2015

Contact: Jason Marton
Email: jason.marton@tamuk.edu
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The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) released its results of surveying more than 355,000 first-year and senior students attending 622 U.S. colleges and universities in spring 2014, in a survey entitled Bringing the Institution into Focus

The survey sought to provide a nuanced view of students’ engagement in effective educational practices. First-year and senior students were asked about a wide range of educationally purposeful activities. 

Texas A&M University-Kingsville results were grouped in the Southwest Public institutions region. There were a number of high points among the university's results:

  • High-Impact Practices. These are special undergraduate opportunities that have positive associations with student learning and retention. On this, A&M-Kingsville surpassed the average in the number of courses it offered that included a community-based (known as service-learning) project, especially among its first-year students. 

The survey explored ten different Student Engagement Indicators, organized under four broad themes: 

  • On the theme of Experiences with Faculty, for the Engagement Indicator of Student-Faculty Interaction, both first-year and senior students of Texas A&M-Kingsville ranked significantly higher than the Southwest Public average numbers. 

Specific survey questions on Student-Faculty Interaction that yielded the most positive responses among A&M-Kingsville students included: 

--The first-year student questions, “Talked about career plans with a faculty member”, “Worked with a faculty member on activities other than coursework” and “Discussed your academic performance with a faculty member”.

--The senior student questions, “Discussed course topics, ideas or concepts with a faculty member outside of class”, “Worked with a faculty member on activities other than coursework” and “Discussed your academic performance with a faculty member. 

  • On the theme of Learning with Peers, for the Engagement Indicator of Collaborative Learning, senior students of Texas A&M-Kingsville ranked significantly higher than the Southwest Public average number. 

The specific survey question on Collaborative Learning that yielded the most positive response among A&M-Kingsville seniors was, “Prepared for exams by discussing or working through course material with other students”. 

  • On the theme of Campus Environment, for the Engagement Indicator of Quality of Interactions, first-year Texas A&M-Kingsville students ranked significantly higher than the Southwest Public average number. 

The specific survey question on Collaborative Learning that yielded the most positive response among A&M-Kingsville first-year students was, “Quality of interactions with other administrative staff and offices”. 

  • Further in the survey, among the category of Academic Challenges: Additional Results was the question of, “To what extent did students’ courses challenge them to do their best work?Seventy percent of senior students responded with answers that reflected their coursework was a High Challenge—that was seven points higher than the Southwest Public High Challenge average of 63 percent

About the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)

NSSE annually collects information at hundreds of four-year colleges and universities about student participation in activities and programs that promote their learning and personal development. The results provide an estimate of how undergraduates spend their time and what they gain from attending their college or university. Institutions use their data to identify aspects of the undergraduate experience that can be improved through changes in policy and practice. 

NSSE has been in operation since 2000 and has been used at more than 1,500 colleges and universities in the US and Canada. More than 90% of participating institutions administer the survey on a periodic basis.