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National survey highlights Elon's engaged learning programs

2011 National Survey of Student Engagement documents Elon success in study abroad, internships and more.


Elon’s position as a national leader in study abroad, internships, writing and other engaged learning activities is demonstrated in the data of the 2011 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE).

NSSE is the most comprehensive assessment of effective practices in higher education, which includes data from 416,000 students at 673 colleges and universities. Elon students gave high marks to their experiences on each of five benchmarks of excellence:

  • Level of academic challenge
  • Active and collaborative learning
  • Student-faculty interaction
  • Enriching educational experiences
  • Supportive campus environment

The NSSE survey asked randomly selected freshmen and seniors key questions about their educational experiences. A total of 797 Elon freshmen and seniors participated in the survey, now in its 12th year. Compared with students at other schools in the NSSE survey findings, Elon freshmen were much more likely to:

  • Write both short and long papers for their courses
  • Spend more than 10 hours per week studying for class
  • Work with classmates outside of class to prepare assignments
  • Spend more than five hours per week participating in co-curricular activities

Elon seniors far outdistanced seniors at other schools surveyed by NSSE in many categories. About 77 percent of Elon seniors said they had a study abroad experience, compared with only 25 percent of seniors at other universities in the survey. Nearly 90 percent of Elon seniors had completed an internship or field experience, compared with only about 50 percent at other schools in the survey. Elon students were twice as likely to spend time participating in co-curricular activities and complete foreign language coursework.

The 2011 NSSE report, which is sponsored by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, was released Nov. 17. The study provides information to students and parents in the college search process and gives campuses insight into effective teaching and student learning. Full details of the report can be found on the NSSE Web site at: http://nsse.iub.edu/html/annual_results.cfm

Elon routinely makes data from the NSSE survey available to the public via a special website: www.elon.edu/nsse.

Dan Anderson,
11/17/2011 10:48 AM