Cabrini College will be issuing the National Survey of Student Engagement to first-year and senior students in the upcoming spring semester. The survey helps Cabrini College officials gather information about the students and how much they are engaged in different activities. Cabrini College previously issued the NSSE in the spring of 2006.
“The NSSE helps us focus on educationally purposeful activities,” Dr. Charlie McCormick, Dean of academic affairs, said.
The NSSE promotes the idea of these so-called educationally purposeful activities. The goal of the survey is to find out what kinds of activities students are engaged in and how much of their time is spent participating in educationally purposeful activities.
“It’s not really a satisfaction survey,” Chad May, director of institutional research, said. The survey is designed to give Cabrini vital information about their students and to compare it to students from the past as well as to students from different schools.
The NSSE conducted a secondary survey in the spring of 2007 with 24 institutions, which discovered that students feel more comfortable having their parents contact school officials on their behalf. Cabrini College students did not participate in this particular survey.
The survey found that students who remain in frequent contact with their parents, as well as the students who use their parents as a conduit to school officials, tend to be more satisfied with their college experience. The NSSE also found that these same students with the so-called “helicopter parents” also tend to be more academically engaged than students who handle these situations on their own.
“It’s different for different students,” McCormick said. “Some parents may be extremely helpful.” McCormick went on to state that parents with a background at the collegiate level might be more likely to want to stay informed about their students progress in college.”
However, some argue that the idea of having parents continuously contacting school officials on their child’s behalf may be detrimental to the growth of their child as a student and as a professional. Conversely, others may argue that parent involvement may be more beneficial to the student.
“I don’t think we know the facts about greater parent intrusion or involvement,” May said.
“Parents could be another level of engagement,” McCormick said. After all, the purpose of the NSSE is to promote student engagement and it’s important to note that all students may find different ways to engage in different activities.
Cabrini College issues the NSSE to students in an effort to encourage all students to stay involved and engaged in the educational process.
“Generally speaking, what NSSE concludes is that an engaged student learns more and learns deeper,” McCormick said.