Student Learning at the First-year and Senior Level: 2021 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) Results

As reported in the 2021 National Survey of Student Engagement Summary of Key Evidence for UCORE (PDF), results from the 2021 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) indicate that most WSU seniors (87%) have considerable confidence in their ability to complete tasks requiring clear writing.

In addition to Written Communication, results from the 2021 NSSE also provide indirect evidence of student learning on Critical & Creative Thinking, Oral Communication, Quantitative ReasoningDiversity, and Integrative Learning at the first-year and senior levels for UCORE assessment—see the 2021 NSSE Summary of Key Evidence for UCORE (PDF) for more information. For additional NSSE results from WSU’s past three administrations, in the context of UCORE assessment, see the 2021 Biennial UCORE Assessment Summary of Student Achievement (PDF).

The NSSE annually collects information at hundreds of four-year colleges and universities about first-year and senior student participation in activities and programs that promote their learning and personal development. At WSU, the NSSE is offered to all first-year and senior students on all WSU campuses every other spring. WSU’s UCORE curriculum is bookended by a required first-year course [ROOT] and a senior capstone experience [CAPS], which aligns particularly well with the NSSE.

“Results from the NSSE help faculty and administration understand more about our students’ learning experiences and their perceptions of the educational opportunities WSU offers its undergraduates,” said UCORE Director Clif Stratton. “We examine NSSE results in combination with other assessments of first-year students and seniors, as we consider the UCORE curriculum and make recommendations about faculty development initiatives and course design.”

In 2021, 1,473 seniors and 1,038 first-year students responded to the survey at WSU. The WSU response rate was 24% for seniors and 27% for first-year students, compared to the average national response rate of 21% for participating institutions with undergraduate enrollments of 10,000 or more. Note: For fall 2020 and spring 2021, undergraduate courses at WSU were delivered at a distance and completed remotely, with limited exceptions for in-person instruction, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Office of Assessment for Curricular Effectiveness (ACE), in collaboration with the Office of Institutional Research (IR), coordinates the administration of NSSE at WSU. For additional information, see UCORE’s National Survey of Student Engagement Key Assessment page.