Chadron State College
Chadron State College

Executive Council hosts assessment work session

October 24, 2016

CHADRON – The Executive Council of Chadron State College hosted an assessment work session that involved more than 100 employees from various departments during the all-campus meeting Thursday, Oct. 13.

In all, 55 professional and support staff, 46 faculty, and two others joined members of the Executive Council to discuss their interpretations of Chadron State respondents to the most recent National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE).

It was the first time CSC devoted its all-campus meeting as a work session for the NSSE and FSSE results.

“The all-campus meeting affords CSC a unique opportunity to have conversations among staff, faculty, and administrators who provide specific details about our campus,” said Interim Director of Assessment Dr. David Nesheim. “Surveys like the NSSE and FSSE offer valuable comparative evidence about strengths and areas for possible improvement, but the hard work of making positive change really begins with honest and open communication.”

The NSSE is a web-based survey intended to measure first-year and senior students’ participation in programs and activities that institutions provide for learning and personal development, according to the NSSE website.

FSSE is also a web-based survey for faculty teaching baccalaureate courses and how they view the institution’s level of engagement with students and if the campus has a supportive environment.

When compared with other institutions that participated in the NSSE, Chadron State College is above the national average with first-year students in the quality of interactions with academic advisers, staff, student services staff and other administrative staff, as well as emphasizing support for well-being, management of non-academic responsibilities and attending campus activities for senior students.

In 2016, 560 colleges and universities and 322,582 students participated in the NSSE.

During the all-campus meeting, 15 Executive Council members led table discussions with randomly selected employees. Based on the data from the NSSE and FSSE surveys, all employees were asked three questions: What is your reaction to the campus environment, supportive environment and quality of interactions at CSC? What do you see in this evidence that we need to address? What ideas do you have toward addressing these issues?

After giving their impressions of the data, employees completed a short survey about the work session. The responses were positive. When asked if the session was informative, 92.23 percent said they agreed or strongly agreed, and 84.47 percent agreed or strongly agreed the session was a valuable use of their time.

Additionally, 76.7 percent said they agree or strongly agree about learning more about CSC’s NSSE and FSSE results and comparative data, and 95.15 percent said they agree or strongly agree that the table discussion with members from various units was productive.

Nesheim tabulated the suggestions and comments gathered from the all-campus meeting and presented information to the Executive Council meeting Oct. 19. After reviewing the evidence compiled by Nesheim, five action items were recommended, including one suggestion to obtain student feedback on the NSSE and FSSE. 

In response to that feedback, Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Charles Snare said members of Executive Council have taken action on that recommendation and will be working with student leadership to conduct a similar session to obtain their interpretations.

—Alex Helmbrecht, Director of College Relations