The release Thursday of “Bringing the Institution Into Focus – Annual Results 2014” by the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) shows that, according to Clayton State students, the University’s faculty is indeed making students’ dreams real.
One of the hallmarks of the Clayton State experience for students is that the University – and that includes faculty, staff and students -- provides its students with a supportive community. Not surprisingly, compared to 11 University System of Georgia (USG) peer institutions in the NSSE “Engagement Indicator” section, responses from 318 Clayton State senior students indicated they had experienced a significantly positive campus environment with good interactions with other students and staff, in addition to having supportive environments in academic, learning support, and the social aspects of their lives.
NSSE found that Clayton State senior students had good experiences with faculty’s effective teaching practices in areas like clearly explaining course goals and requirements, class sessions that were taught in an organized way, and providing feedback with drafts, tests, and assignments, in comparison with the responses of from USG peer institutions. Clayton State seniors also had good experiences with learning strategies, for example, summarizing material learning from classes, notes, and reading assignments.
Among 108 first-year students at Clayton State, NSSE found good quantitative reasoning skills such as reaching conclusions using their own analysis. First-year students also had good experiences with the faculty’s effective teaching practices like clearly explaining course goals and requirements and providing feedback with drafts, tests, and assignments.
In conjunction with the findings on the effectiveness Clayton State faculty’s teaching practices, both seniors and first-year students reported that the University was challenging them to do their best work. Sixty-five percent of the first-year students and 74 percent of the senior students responded to NSSE that their courses were highly challenging. That compares to 52 percent (first-year) and 64 percent (senior) among USG peer institutions.
Clayton State senior students responses also reflect the diversity of the Clayton State community as well as the fact that the University extends its support to its community outside of the campus. Compared to other USG institutions that completed the NSSE Civic Engagement module, Clayton State seniors indicated a higher belief in their ability to help resolve conflicts and to lead a group in which people from different backgrounds feel included. Seniors also stated that they had informed themselves about state, national, or global issues as well as discussed these issues with others.
Clayton State’s USG peer institutions referenced in the NSSE survey included the following 11 universities: Albany State University, Armstrong State University, Columbus State University, Fort Valley State University, Georgia College & State University, Georgia Southwestern State University, Kennesaw State University, Savannah State University, Southern Polytechnic State University, University of North Georgia, University of West Georgia.
NSSE’s “Annual Results 2014” is sponsored by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The report details results from surveys taken in the spring of 2014 of more than 355,000 first-year and senior students attending 622 U.S. colleges and universities.