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Keene State Students More Likely to Engage with Community, Faculty

... go forth to serve.
... go forth to serve.

According to a recent report from the National Survey of Student Engagement, Keene State students often develop a sense of personal competence at making a difference in their community—and in the world. They do this not just by learning about community issues, but by being actively engaged with the local and campus community. The study suggests that KSC helps students get involved with community issues at a much earlier point in the curriculum than other institutions in the comparison group (our responses are compared to the 92 institutions nationwide that selected this civic-engagement module in 2013 or 2014).

By the time they are seniors, KSC students score higher than seniors in the comparison group on almost every measure of civic engagement:

  • They are more likely than other seniors to say that they are able to help people resolve disagreements and more able to contribute to the well-being of their community.
  • They are more likely than other seniors to report that, in the past year, they have informed themselves about local or campus issues; discussed local or campus issues with others; raised awareness about local or campus issues; asked others to address local or campus issues; asked others to address state, national, or global issues; organized others to work on local or campus issues; and organized others to work on state, national, or global issues.

Evidently, the Keene State experience is quite transformative, since our first-year students report that they are less likely than their peers in the comparison group to feel competent on issues of civic engagement. Yet even though new KSC students don’t feel they have the ability, they are more likely than students in the comparison group to be actively working on civic issues. And, after they’ve been here a couple of years, they’ve learned the confidence to be very effective in their community.

But wait, there’s more!

Our first-year students and our seniors report much more frequent interactions with faculty than do their peers at three groups of institutions with which they were compared. For example:

  • 65% of KSC seniors reported that they talk with faculty about career plans, compared with 48% at our sister COPLAC institutions.
  • 54% of KSC seniors said that they have worked with faculty on something other than coursework, compared to 31% for COPLAC institutions.
  • 57% of KSC seniors said that they discussed course-related topics with faculty outside of class, compared to 42% for COPLAC.
  • 57% of KSC seniors said that they discussed their academic performance with a faculty member, compared to 40% for COPLAC.

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