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Survey Shows Keene State Students Engaged with Campus and Larger Community

KSC Community Service Day photo

Keene State promises to impart the “wisdom to make a difference.” The results of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) that the College conducted last spring shows that our students are definitely developing the skills they need to make that difference.

The NSSE Engagement Indicators compare students at the 24 other Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC) and nine of our peer institutions that participated in NSSE this spring. As they did in earlier surveys, both our first-year students and our seniors continue to report more frequent interactions with faculty than do their peers elsewhere, and our seniors are significantly more likely to say that their advisor helped them get information on special opportunities and discussed career interests and post-graduation plans.

KSC first-year students also reported significantly more frequent activities that involve quantitative reasoning (e.g., reaching conclusions based on their own analysis, suing numerical information to examine a real-world issue, evaluating others’ conclusions) than first-year students in the two comparison groups.

High-Impact Practices

Keene State seniors are significantly more likely to have participated in high-impact practices than seniors at our sister COPLAC institutions, or at our peer institutions. The NSSE High-Impact Practices Report points out that high-impact practices have “positive associations with student learning and retention.” The experiences designated as high-impact practices “demand considerable time and effort, facilitate learning outside of the classroom, require meaningful interactions with faculty and students, encourage collaboration with diverse others, and provide frequent and substantive feedback.”

These high-impact practices include participation in a formal program where groups of students take two or more classes together; courses that include a community-based project; working with a faculty member on a research project; an internship, co-op, field experience, student teaching, or clinical placement; study abroad; and/or a culminating senior experience such as a capstone course, senior project or thesis, comprehensive exam, or portfolio.

Civic Engagement

As it did in 2014, the data show that Keene State students are more civically engaged than students at other colleges and universities, on average. Here’s what some of our students said about their involvement with issues that concern them:  

  • “In the recent election, I addressed the problem of under representation of youth voting in polls by educating many of my peers on how to obtain absentee ballots and vote over winter break.”
  • “My biology class gets very involved with the environment and gets the students thinking.”
  • “It’s very eye opening to see how many people are willing to get involved about huge global issues. Reactions to the Paris attacks were very heartwarming on campus. There are many groups which take political stances and actively try to bring awareness to them, and it’s very cool to see people be so active about their beliefs, while remaining open minded.”
  • “I attended a summit in Washington DC and lobbied with Members of Congress on Capitol Hill to support anti-genocide and anti-atrocity legislation.”
  • “All of the candidates coming to campus has helped many students, including myself, to be well informed.”

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