Survey shows Southeastern students rate relationships with other students, professors highly
Contact: Rene Abadie
HAMMOND – A recently released study of students at Southeastern Louisiana University indicates those students rate highly their relationships with other students and their professors.
Senior students at Southeastern who participated in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) indicated that 92 percent of them positively rated their relationships with other students compared to an average of 81 percent of students at peer institutions. In addition, 87 percent of Southeastern senior respondents felt positively about their relationships with faculty members compared to the average of 79 percent at peer institutions.
The NSSE report is based on information from approximately 313,000 randomly selected first-year and senior students at 610 four-year colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada. The voluntary study is designed to give institutions an idea of how well their students are learning and what they put into and get out of their undergraduate experience.
“NSSE is an increasingly important tool to help colleges review comparative standards for determining how effective we are in addressing issues that impact student success,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs John Crain. “We voluntarily participate in this survey every year to help us determine what is working with our students and where we need to make some improvements.”
In the category of level of academic challenge, more senior Southeastern students than those at their peer institutions said the institution emphasizes studying and academic work (82 percent compared to 78 percent); 57 percent of the Southeastern seniors said they spent more than 10 hours per week preparing for class compared to 50 percent at peer institutions.
Among freshman respondents, 86 percent of the Southeastern students said the institution provides substantial support for academic support, compared to 74 percent at peer universities; 44 percent of the Southeastern freshman respondents said the university substantially helps students with non-academic matters compared to 34 percent at similar institutions.
Crain explained that Southeastern uses the NSSE information to discover areas of student support that need enhancement. One example is in advising.
“In 2002, when we first participated in NSSE, 64 percent of our students surveyed rated the quality of advising as good or excellent,” he said. “That is an area where we have spent considerable time and resources to upgrade. In this latest survey, 80 percent of our respondents rated it as good or excellent. The increase is even more pronounced among the seniors, where this positive rating increased from 58 to 81 percent.”
He said factors accounting for the improvement included enhanced academic advising for freshmen through the Center for Student Excellence and the introduction of a new freshman course called Southeastern 101 which includes regularly scheduled meetings with professional advisers. Other areas in the supportive campus environment that Southeastern has worked to enhance include broadening the study abroad program through the use of scholarship support and increasing the number of internships in various programs to provide students with hands on experiences.
Nationally, the NSSE report concluded that colleges and universities should do everything possible to encourage undergraduates to participate in at least two high-impact activities, one in their first year and one later in their studies. High-impact activities, such as service learning efforts and capstone courses or thesis projects, place students in circumstances that essentially demand they interact with faculty and peers about substantive matters.