About NSSE

National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)

Did you know that 2017 marks the sixth time York University has participated in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)?

The survey will be administered to all students in first year and students in their final year of a four-year undergraduate honours degree beginning February 6, 2017 and ending on March 31, 2017.

York University is committed to using the NSSE results to inform our strategic planning and to shape an environment of excellence for learning and personal development of undergraduate students.

What is NSSE?

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) is a comprehensive study that measures five key benchmarks across first- and fourth-year undergraduate student populations. Since its first administration in 2000, more than 1,600 North American universities and colleges have participated in NSSE. It is widely recognized as a pre-eminent tool for providing benchmarks for the effectiveness of undergraduate education at an institutional level.

The results are reported in terms of five key clusters of activities:

  • level of academic challenge,
  • active and collaborative learning,
  • student-faculty interaction,
  • enriching educational experiences, and
  • supportive campus environment.

Survey items on The National Survey of Student Engagement represent empirically confirmed "good practices" in undergraduate education. That is, they reflect behaviours by students and institutions that are associated with the desired outcomes of university study.

Why is NSSE important?

The NSSE results provide information that deans, professors, staff and administrative areas can use immediately to improve the undergraduate experience. Institutions use their data to identify aspects of the undergraduate experience inside and outside the classroom that can be improved through changes in policies and practices more consistent with good practices in undergraduate education. This information is also intended for use by prospective students, their parents, academic advisers, institutional research officers, and researchers generally in learning more about how students spend their time and what they gain from their experiences.

Some examples of changes on our campus as a result of the NSSE include:

  • Implemented a Visual Schedule Builder
  • Added practicum and capstone course to a program
  • Hired more students in finance office – provided better services and on-campus jobs
  • Created Study Hub to help students find study groups and tutors
  • Created Manage My Academic Record to help students manage degree progress
  • Created more study space, classroom reservation system, new student lounge, more seating in public space
  • Developed an advising community of practice to facilitate cross-Faculty collaboration and information sharing
  • Developed student-led initiatives to support York’s Mental Health & Wellness Strategy established the Student Success Centre (SSC) to provide inclusive programming and services for students under one unified umbrella
  • Increased the number of dedicated group study rooms in the Learning Commons

We're listening! Additional examples can be found here.

For more information
You’ll find detailed information about NSSE, its importance for the University and the 2017 survey administration period at York in our FAQ section.

What can students contribute?

By completing the survey, students have a chance to enhance their experience both in and out of the classroom:

  • A first-year student can provide input about what they believe they’ve gained from their experience as a new student.
  • A fourth-year student can voice their ideas about how to improve the experience for future undergraduates.

If you’re not in study level 1 or in your final year of your degree (e.g. expected to complete all your coursework this Winter), and would like to provide feedback about the ways in which you’ve engaged with your program and services at York, we're working on an option for you. Please check this site after February 6 for details.

If you have reflections to share, York wants to hear them!

Together we can reach our participation goal!

In 2014, York’s overall NSSE participation rate was 28 per cent; the goal for 2017 is to increase it to 35 per cent. See how we’re doing.