Northern Arizona University is doing well, if not better, than comparable institutions nationwide in engaging its students, according to the 2005 National Survey of Student Engagement.

“We’re pleased with the NSSE results, but the best part is that this survey is a fantastic tool for providing a way to assess what is and isn’t working in our strategies to keep students engaged,” said Christine Arazan, planning and policy analyst, Office of Planning and Institutional Research. “The NSSE provides a way to assess the quality of an institution by measuring student engagement in a variety of educational practices.”

The survey asked randomly selected first-year and senior students at NAU to report the frequency they get involved in good educational practices. Five benchmarks were used to evaluate the institution: Student Faculty Interaction, Active and Collaborative Learning, Enriching Educational Experiences, the Level of Academic Challenge and providing a Supportive Campus Environment.

The most notable improvement was in Student Faculty Interaction where students reported a higher satisfaction regarding interacting with faculty. Other strong ratings resulted for Active and Collaborative Learning and Enriching Educational Experiences. NAU did as well as other comparable universities in the other benchmarks. Overall, NAU scores similar or higher on all five benchmarks when compared to other doctoral intensive institutions and the group of selected peers. About 500 universities participated.

NAU has participated in the NSSE survey in 2002, 2003 and 2005. Four hundred and seven first-year respondents and 260 senior respondents participated in the 2005 NSSE NAU administration. Arazan anticipates NAU will participate in the national survey every other year.

Click here to read the survey online.