NSSE 2007 Uses of NSSE Data at UNK

UNK has conducted the NSSE in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2007. The NSSE data from each year have been used by various departments/programs across campus in setting priorities, recruiting, assessment, and program improvement. The following provides detailed information on how NSSE data are being used at UNK.

Strategic Planning. UNK has been engaged in the development of a new strategic plan for the past two years. NSSE data have informed a great deal of valuable information for this process, especially as we looked at our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats from a student perspective. As a predominantly undergraduate residential institution, the NSSE data are indispensable to effective planning and they will continue to be as we develop action plans from the strategic plan and carry them out. Specific processes in use of NSSE are:

  • Establishing baseline data for student engagement at UNK
  • Setting benchmarks for student engagement activities
  • Developing an action plan
  • Establishing priorities

Academic Advising. UNK’s Office of Academic Advising makes extensive use of NSSE data to improve the central advisement process (While all students have faculty advisors, the Office of Academic Advising is a central advisement center on campus available to all students and to faculty members who need assistance in helping students who are experiencing difficulty to get timely intervention to improve their chances of success.) All academic departments and academic/ student life offices undergo periodic review and annual assessment processes. NSSE data are particularly important for:

  • Assessment
  • Program improvement

General Studies. General Studies is the general education program at UNK. We have had a campus-wide discussion of the possibility of developing a new and different approach to general education at UNK over the past two years. The process is continuing. NSSE data have been employed throughout the process and discussion as a portion of the data available to inform and guide the development of strengths and elimination of weaknesses of the General Studies Program from the student’s perspective.

  • Assessment/assessment reporting
  • Program changes
  • Benchmarking

First Year Program: Our first year experiences program is guided in part by NSSE data. As we understand better student perceptions, we are better able to tailor the FYE Program to address issues that apparently are not meeting student needs. Especially important among these are:

  • Assessment/assessment reporting
  • Program Review and Improvement
  • Attracting Students and Student Peer Advisors into the Program.

Office of Sponsored Programs. Undergraduate Research is extremely important at UNK and is supported in significant part by the Office of Sponsored Research. We use NSSE data to gauge student perceptions of the opportunities and benefits of participation in undergraduate research at UNK. NSSE data are most useful in:

  • Recruiting
  • Program review
  • Program improvement

Honors Program. The UNK Honors Program has been very successful in recent years in large part because we have been able to take advance of the NSSE data as feedback in annual adjustments within the program. The data have been very helpful in:

  • Assessment/assessment reporting
  • Recruiting
  • Program improvement

Academic Programs. All of UNK’s academic programs and student life programs have access to NSSE data, and use the data to inform the success of the particular program. The programs use NSSE data for assessment, for program improvement, and in many instances for recruitment. Key examples of these programs are listed below.

  • Writing Intensive Program.
  • Cultural Diversity Program
  • Ethnic Studies, Women’s Studies
  • International Studies
  • Academic Departments (all departments will receive a report of their students’ responses)
  • Admissions Office
  • Learning Strategies Office
  • Multicultural Affairs Office
  • Career Services
  • Student Union
  • Student Housing and Greek Life

Assessment Office. UNK has developed a campus culture of assessment, with the expectation that we employ regular assessment of all our academic and non-academic programs. To facilitate this thorough assessment involvement for the campus, the Assessment Office provides help and guidance as well as assessment tools and research. The Assessment Office is responsible for assuring our participation in external surveys, such as NSSE. In turn the Office uses NSSE data in its research and to help guide programs in their assessments. Major uses are:

  • Institutional assessment
  • Accreditation

University Relations. UNK University Relations uses NSSE data to shape its program in marketing the University.