Email survey assesses student engagement

Freshmen and seniors at Indiana University of Pennsylvania have received an email survey in the past two weeks asking them to provide information about their participation at IUP.

The National Survey of Student Engagement is sent to assess student engagement not just at IUP but also at hundreds of other four-year colleges and universities. The NSSE website describes student engagement by two functions.

“The first is the amount of time and effort students put into their studies and other educationally purposeful activities,” according to the website. “The second is how the institution deploys its resources and organizes the curriculum and other learning opportunities to get students to participate in activities.

“The results of the survey provide an estimate of how undergraduates spend their time and what they gain from attending college.”

Michelle S. Fryling, executive director of communications and media relations for IUP, said it’s not the first time we have partaken in the survey.

“We have conducted the NSSE survey in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2014,” she said.

“More than 1,500 different colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada have participated in NSSE since it was first administered in 2000,” according to the website.

NSSE not only compares the results of the universities as a whole but also how student groups at certain universities compare to other similar cross sections of the population at other schools.

This breaks schools down into more than their overall performance and gives feedback on how different categories of students are performing relative to their peers.

The information proves valuable to university policy and activities, Fryling said.

“We use this information to help guide us in decision-making for resources and priorities to help us help students to be more successful in their university life,” she said.

Although it is very important to the school, Fryling said only “about 10 percent of our students annually respond, but we are continuing to try and get participation up as much as possible through publicity and the opportunity to win prizes by participating.”

According to the posters displayed throughout university buildings, by completing the survey, students have the chance to win IUP apparel, Starbucks gift cards, $50 Co-op Store gift certificates and $50 in flex.

The survey is supposed to take about 10 minutes to fill out.