Determining the future of your university isn’t an activity most students picture themselves being a part of, but with the National Survey of Student Engagement, students get the opportunity to voice their opinions on how the university is working toward their needs.
NSSE is a national survey that is used to track improvement in students from their freshman year to their senior year. Students receive the survey in their Scatcat emails as freshmen and graduating seniors and are highly encouraged to take it by faculty of the university. If you did not take the survey as a freshman, you can still take it as a senior.
“The theory behind it is an engaged student is a productive student who learns a lot during their study at Fort Hays,” said senior Tyler Thompson, president of Student Government Association. “We use it to track progress to see how we’re doing and how our students are doing. It produces data that we can use to kind of steer direction of different engagement activities of the university.”
A task force of faculty passionate about student engagement monitors the data and encourages students to complete their NSSE evaluations.
“Over the years, it’s been offered,” Thompson said. Response to the survey has been average, but Thompson hopes to see more students involved in NSSE this year and in the future.
“They’re okay. Ideally we’d like every senior to take it. That’s the best way to track progress, if everybody does it. That’s how we feel about it, at least. It really does us more good if everybody takes it than if you only get a small sample size. But in general, the responses have been pretty good. They can always be better,” Thompson said.
Students have until the end of the semester to take the survey and continue to help mold their university.
“I think the biggest thing for students is to realize that it does actually make a difference. Their opinion on the survey makes a big difference in terms of strategy here at Fort Hays. They may not see it directly, but it is taken extremely serious by the task force and by the administration here,” Thompson said.
“If the university isn’t doing a good job in certain areas, NSSE measures in regards to engagement. We need to know about it, and we need to fix it. We do when that survey is taken,” Thompson said. “We identify all sorts of different issues that score in a particular category that doesn’t meet our specific expectations, and we make a significant effort to improve it over the next couple of years.”