In her “Welcome Back” speech at the beginning of the semester, President R. Barbara Gitenstein reported on the results of a series of surveys—the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE), and Beginning College Student Survey of Student Engagement (BCSSE)—that TCNJ had conducted to assess the success of its academic transformation.
The NSSE scores are reported in five benchmark categories—Level of Academic Challenge, Active and Collaborative Learning, Student-Faculty Interaction, Enriching Educational Experiences, and Supportive Campus Environment—that provide an estimate of how undergraduates spend their time and what they gain from attending college. NSSE data shows TCNJ’s continued growth in all five of the survey’s benchmarks, Gitenstein said. Additionally, TCNJ’s scores on these benchmarks exceeded those of a comparison group of institutions with which the College typically competes for students (including Boston College, Lehigh University, Northeastern University, and University of Maryland–College Park).
Overall, the NSSE data painted a positive picture in terms of TCNJ students’ reported engagement. As examples, Gitenstein noted that by their senior year, 77 percent of TCNJ students reported they had participated in some form of practicum, internship, field experience, co-op, or clinical assignment while 31 percent reported having done research with a faculty member. Ninety-four percent of first-year students reported a favorable image of TCNJ, while 87 percent felt that the College had a substantial commitment to their academic success. Eighty-eight percent of seniors said they would choose TCNJ again if they could start their college career over.
Results that stood out from the FSSE include faculty perceptions that greater than 90 percent of TCNJ students have positive relationships with both other students and faculty, Gitenstein said.
Finally, the president explained that data from the BCSSE was used to create advising reports that will help students identify pitfalls and opportunities for their academic success.