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Families of Future Students

Student Engagement at Grand View

Since 2004, Grand View has participated in the National Survey of Student Engagement. We use the survey results to benchmark us against other similar colleges and to help us improve student engagement, which is a reliable predictor of student retention. Approximately 1,000 college and universities have participated in the survey.

What is the NSSE?

Joni Finney, vice president at the National Center for Public Policy in Higher Education, commented: “NSSE has changed the national conversation about quality in undergraduate education, providing a rich model for institutional change and improvement.”

A description of the survey objective from the NSSE Project web site:

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) is designed to obtain, on an annual basis, information from scores of colleges and universities nationwide about student participation in programs and activities that institutions provide for their learning and personal development. The results will provide an estimate of how undergraduates spend their time and what they gain from attending college. Survey items on The National Survey of Student Engagement represent empirically confirmed "good practices" in undergraduate education. That is, they reflect behaviors by students and institutions that are associated with desired outcomes of college.

Students at participating colleges answer questions on topics that fall into these areas:

Level of academic challenge
Active and collaborative learning
Student-faculty interaction
Enriching educational experience
Supportive campus environment


Colleges then use the results to develop strategies for improvement in areas where they may fall short of their own goals. The project also provides comparative results, so each college can see how its students have responded in comparison to peer institutions.

Many colleges are now beginning to look at NSSE as a way to measure quality that can take into account the mission of the institution and that is based on student evaluation, as opposed to rankings heavily influenced by distant executive officers who may never have been on the college’s campus, let alone in one of its classrooms.

For more information about NSSE, please take a look at the NSSE Project website.

How does Grand View use NSSE results?

Grand View is pleased to provide you with the summary results of our 2012 NSSE survey. We are using the results to improve in areas we believe need attention  and to strengthen areas that are already strong. Here are some examples of activities we’ve undertaken to improve student engagement.

*Provided resources and training for faculty members to incorporate more active and collaborative learning strategies into the classroom.

*Upgraded classroom technologies and our computer infrastructure to support student learning.

*Established a learning community program for all first-time full-time students, so they quickly get to know other students, develop meaningful relationships with their instructors, and begin to understand the interdisciplinary nature of learning.

*Provided additional gathering places for students to study together, meet with faculty members in more casual settings, and converse with friends.

*Established a funding program to encourage faculty and staff members to engage with their students in educationally purposeful activities outside the classroom.

Examples of these activities include:

*Our Director of Leadership Development organized the first EMERGE student leadership forum. Members of GV’s Student Leadership Team hosted the event for future GV student leaders and shared about their involvement with leadership and how they have grown from the experience.

*A staff member and a professor collaborated to take literature students on a field trip to Saylorville Lake to learn more about the land, literature, and the legacies of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

*Members of the Humanities Division created a Humanities Passport whereby students are encouraged to attend cultural events hosted by the division. Students receive extra credit or receive other incentives to be more engaged through attendance at these events.

*A math professor hosts pizza study review sessions the night before major exams in math courses.

*Logos Honors faculty members take students to a poetry slam at a local coffee place to demonstrate that poetry comes in many modes and is performed in different ways and venues.

*An English professor hosted a dinner in her home for students in her cross-cultural communications class, featuring foods from a variety of ethnic traditions.

*A professor teaching African literature brings various African snacks to class throughout the semester, which culminates in a full African meal in her home.

*Education students attend the Iowa Teachers Conference.

*Music students attend the symphony and afterwards, discuss the performance at a coffee shop with their instructor and the conductor.

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