Just about every spring, we administer the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE).
The 2009 administration was particularly important because DU participated in the Beginning College Survey of Student Engagement (BCSSE) for the first time in fall 2008.
For first-year students who participated in both the BCSSE and NSSE, there are linked items on each survey that provide us with valuable, longitudinal information about engagement and expectations for the first year of college.
The administration of the 2012 NSSE will provide an opportunity to collect engagement-related data from those students who completed the 2008 BCSSE and 2009 NSSE.
Summary materials and national NSSE benchmark comparisons are available:
- 2008 NSSE (pdf)
- 2009 NSSE (pdf)
- 2010 NSSE (pdf)
- 2012 NSSE (pdf)
- USA Today comparison of NSSE benchmarks for hundreds of colleges and universities, including DU
In 2010, we also helped pilot the Higher Education Research Institute's Diverse Learning Environments (DLE) survey, and we administered the instrument again in 2011.
The DLE project has been created with the assumption that "Integrating assessments of student outcomes, the climate for diversity, and campus practices may be the best strategy to ensure all students are well served to be successful and to maximize the benefits of diverse learning environments for citizenship in a diverse society." (Hurtado and associates, funded grant application, Ford Foundation, 2008).
In 2011 we completed our first administration of the DU College Expectations Survey (DUCES), an instrument designed to assess incoming students' expectations for their forthcoming experiences at DU by having students rate their expectations for forthcoming experiences at DU and their "ideal" college institution. The DUCES is intended to yield information about the level of student expectations with respect to social relationships and institutional support. Findings suggested that, on average, first-year students come to DU with very high expectations - almost no difference between what they expect at DU and at their "ideal" institution - thus, such expectations are often so unrealistic that they are unlikely to be met, even under the best of circumstances. This information is valuable for helping students gain insight into adjusting such high expectations to more realistic ones when making the transition to college.