National study: Newman students rate their educational experience, satisfaction high compared to similar schools

Feb 12, 2015

First-year and senior students at Newman University rate their educational experience and overall satisfaction higher than students at similar institutions, and say they would choose the school again if they were starting over.

Those are just a few of the findings in the recently released 2014 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE).

NSSE annually collects information at hundreds of four-year colleges to get an indication about student engagement in programs and educational activities that bolster their learning and personal development. The new report details results from more than 355,000 first-year and senior students attending 622 U.S. colleges and universities that participated in the spring 2014 NSSE.

For Newman, some of the survey highlights include:

  • 97 percent of first-year students and 96 percent of seniors believe Newman challenges them to do their best work.
  • 96 percent of first-year students noted that Newman emphasizes academics.
  • 88 percent of seniors and 85 percent of first-year students rate their overall experience as “excellent” or “good.”
  • 84 percent of seniors and first-year students would choose to attend Newman again if they were starting over.
  • 81 percent of seniors participated in a community-service project (63 percent is the national average)
  • 68 percent of seniors participated in an internship type experience (46 percent is the national average)

The new study also focuses on special undergraduate opportunities designated as “High-Impact Practices” (HIP), which study authors say lead to positive outcomes on student learning and retention. For first-year students, the activities include being involved in a learning community, service-based learning and research with faculty. Additionally for seniors, High-Impact Activities include internships, study abroad programs and culminating senior experiences.

91 percent of Newman first-year students took part in at least one HIP opportunity, as compared to 67 percent of first-year students at peer institutions. 96 percent of Newman seniors experienced at least one and 74 percent participated in two or more HIPs, again outpacing seniors at peer schools.

The NSSE survey also sheds light on how seniors believe their college experience contributes to their overall knowledge, skills and personal development. According to the report, the key areas that students believe they benefited “very much” or “quite a bit” as a result of their Newman education were critical and analytical thinking, clear and effective writing and speaking, effectively working with others, developing a personal code of values, and acquiring job skills.

The NSSE report shows national results as well as figures specific to Newman University. Newman students’ results are compared to those of a consortium of Catholic colleges and universities, institutions that are of similar size to Newman, and all students who took part in the survey.