Freshman Students Report Positive Ties with Faculty

Nov 13, 2008
A recent report shows that 100 percent of first-year Newman University students who responded to a survey feel they have a positive relationship with their professors.That figure is just part of a report showing the results of Newman students who participated last Spring in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), an annual survey of university freshman and senior students nationwide designed to measure students’ engagement with educational activities. Studies have shown that high levels of engagement typically lead to high levels of student learning, satisfaction and graduation rates. The NSSE report shows national results as well as figures specific to Newman. The 100 percent score on Newman freshman students’ relationship with faculty members is 29 points higher than the survey average, 28 points higher than the average for institutions of similar size, and 23 points higher than the average for Catholic institutions.
“This number leapt out at me like no number has ever leapt out of an assessment report before,” said Newman Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Michael Austin, Ph.D. “Not only have I never seen a 100 percent score on any NSSE item before, I don’t even know anybody who has seen a 100 percent score on a NSSE item. If this were on some item like ‘always finds a parking place,’ I would be only mildly pleased. But as it is something that relates to our core mission at Newman – relationships with faculty members – I am downright ecstatic.”
The survey also showed that 75 percent of Newman senior students felt their relationships with staff members were positive compared to 52 percent nationwide, and 87 percent said their courses “emphasized synthesizing ideas into new complex relationships” compared to 75 percent nationwide.