Survey to assess student opinions about campus life and education

Megan Bancroft

Posters for the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) will once again cover the campus to remind Washburn students that their opinions are needed. 

The NSSE is not a reference to the Scottish lake monster, but rather is a survey conducted once every three years on freshmen and seniors to assess student involvement and satisfaction with the quality of education they received during their time here.

“We really want to provide the best educational experience possible,” said Nancy Tate, associate vice president of academic affairs.  “The survey gives students the chance to tell us exactly what they want.”  

NSSE was last taken at Washburn in 2007, when students asked for more technology to be made available to them in the classroom.  This afforded direction to university administrators about where to concentrate their funds.  All classrooms were updated with interactive media equipment such as projectors and computers. The wireless network was also updated and expanded. Money was also aimed toward updating Mabee Library to accommodate more comfortable seating, computers, printers and televisions. 

The NSSE isn’t only used for assessing the material needs of students; it is also used to provide insight into what students want from their education and in their quality of life.  After the NSSE of 2007, greater emphasis was placed on things like study abroad programs and scholarships offered to students for the purpose of completing a Washburn Transformational Experience.  

“Research shows that experiences such as the WTE are “high impact” experiences, meaning that students who engage in this kind of program tend to become more involved in their education, have higher satisfaction with their college experience, and even have an elevated persistence to graduate,”  said Tate.  “We hope to see students continue to have these high impact experiences and use the new technology the university has given them in response to their requests.”

Once a student completes the survey, he or she will be entered to win one of two free iPads.  The NSSE will be administered to freshmen and seniors from Feb. 15 until mid-May, so students in that category should keep an eye on their email inbox.  For the chance to win an iPad, the last day to enter the drawing is March 18.  

The survey allows for a chance to contribute to the growth of Washburn University. After the last poll, it was found that 85 percent of students were very satisfied with their college experience, and would do it all again at Washburn. Whether a student is in that category or the other 15 percent, WU wants to know.