NSSE Report Reflects Trinity's Areas of Strength
While U.S.News & World Report “America’s Best Colleges” rankings have become a popular gauge for students choosing a college, results of the 2009 report from the National Survey of Student Engagement can also provide an effective assessment and evaluation tool.
Through the NSSE’s Assessment for Improvement: Tracking Student Engagement Over Time, colleges and universities, especially, pay close attention to patterns of decline or improvement and make comparisons to other institutions.
“The NSSE report is a more robust way of looking at the effectiveness of a college compared to U.S.News & World Report’s rankings, but many people aren’t aware of the report,” said Dr. Steve Timmermans, president of Trinity Christian College.
The report details results from a survey of 360,000 first-year and senior students attending 617 U.S. colleges and universities.
In the report, Trinity’s scores reflect the national trend among freshmen: steady improvement in active and collaborative learning and student-faculty interaction.
“Our scores in these areas confirm that Trinity continues what has ‘been Trinity’ over the years,” said Timmermans, referring to the College’s strong emphasis on collaborative and community-based projects and student-faculty interaction inside and outside of the classroom.
Among Trinity’s seniors, scores show the College ahead of comparison groups, including institutions Trinity considers “sister” colleges, in the following areas:
- Including diverse perspectives in class discussions or writing assignments
- Participating in a community-based project (e.g. service learning)
- Encouraging contact among students from different economic, social, and racial or ethnic backgrounds
The latter Timmermans credits to Trinity’s “proximity to a global city.”
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