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Indiana State University College Portrait

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Student Activities and Involvement at ISU

At Indiana State University (ISU), evaluating the quality of our undergraduate students’ experience is an important and ongoing process.  A primary assessment tool that ISU uses to evaluate the quality of student experiences is the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and its sister surveys (BCSSE and FSSE).  These surveys are conducted on a three-year cycle with the most recent administration during the 2012-2013 academic year.   During that same time period, the university initiated the Diverse Learning Environments Survey (DLE) to benchmark the climate for diversity with other national universities.  ISU has one of the most racially and ethnically diverse campuses in the state of Indiana.  An assessment of the diversity climate is envisioned on a three-year cycle like the NSSE.  A third means of evaluating the student experience is MAP-Works, a tool for early identification of freshmen students experiencing academic challenge and/or who are having difficulty transitioning from high school to college.  MAP-Works collects information related to both pre-college academic preparation, current academic performance, and current social experiences that can all impact student success.  MAP-Works provides real-time insight about one’s students; information populated in part by ISU central data and in part by observational data from residence life and student affairs staff, faculty and advisors, and student self-reports. Self-report data is collected at week three and week ten in the fall semester, and then again near the start of the spring semester.


A new assessment initiative was also launched Fall 2013 associated with an academic coaching service for freshmen.  The university contracted with a firm called Inside Track to provide academic coaching to 1,000 new freshmen.  This initiative is being evaluated for its impact on student retention and degree completion among an array of other related performance measures.  It involves an experimental study design in which the coached group of students is compared against a similarly matched group of freshmen that did not receive coaching.


Finally, the Indiana State University Strategic Plan entitled, The Pathway to Success (http://irt2.indstate.edu/ir/index.cfm/sp/index), now in its 7thyear, is focused on enhancing the student experience via promoting and supporting student success.  The Plan contains multiple initiatives affecting the undergraduate student experience that are closely managed, benchmarked, and rigorously tracked to ensure that student success at Indiana State remains a high priority. 

Institutions participating in the VSA program measure student involvement on campus using one of four national surveys. Results from the one survey are reported for a common set of questions selected as part of VSA. Following are the selected results from the National Survey of Student Engagement v2 (NSSE2). The questions have been grouped together in categories that are known to contribute to student learning and development. The results reported below are based on the responses of seniors who participated in the survey.

Group Learning Experiences

  • 90% of senior worked with other students on course projects (1h)
  • 90% of seniors explained course material to one or more students (1f)
  • 27% of seniors spent at least 6 hours per week participating in co-curricular activities such as student organizations and intramural sports (15b)

Active Learning Experiences

  • 86% of seniors spent at least 6 hours per week preparing for class (15a)
  • 20% of seniors worked on a research project with a faculty member (11e)
  • 59% of seniors participated in an internship, co-op, field experience, student teaching, or clinical placement (11a)
  • 14% of seniors spent at least 6 hours doing community service or volunteer work (15e)
  • 10% of seniors participated in study abroad (11d)
  • 81% of seniors made at least one course presentation last year (1i)

Institutional Commitment to Student Learning and Success

  • 92% of seniors who believe this institution emphasizes providing support to help students succeed academically (14b)
  • 67% of seniors who rated the quality of interactions with academic advisors to be positive (13b)
  • 66% of seniors reported that this institution provided help in coping with work, family and other non-academic responsibilities (14g)
  • 83% of seniors reporting that their course challenged them to do their best work most of the time (10)

Student Interaction with Campus Faculty and Staff

  • 91% of seniors reported that faculty members provided prompt and detailed feedback on tests or completed assignments (5e)
  • 68% of seniors discussed course topics, ideas, or concepts with a faculty member outside of class (3c)

Experiences with Diverse Groups of People and Ideas

  • 66% of seniors reported that they often tried to understand someone else's point of view (2e)
  • 88% of seniors reported their experiences at this institution contributed to their understanding people of other backgrounds (17h)
  • 69% of seniors often had serious conversations with students of a different race or ethnicity (8a)

Student Satisfaction

  • 78% of seniors would attend this institution if they started over again (19)
  • 81% of seniors rated their entire educational experience as good or excellent (18)
  • 80% of seniors who rated the quality of interactions with other students to be positive (13a)
  • 77% of seniors who rated the quality of interactions with faculty to be positive (13c)