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Surveys | National Survey of Student Engagement


Institutional Rsch / Assessmt
Fax: 202-885-1195
Leonard, Room 1st floor

Froslid Jones, Karen
Assistant Provost, Institutional Research and Assessment

Institutional Rsch / Assessmt
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016-8059
National Survey of Student Engagement Logo

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) asks students at hundreds of colleges and universities to reflect on the time they devote to various learning activities. The topics explored are linked to previous research on student success in college. The survey is administered to new freshmen students and seniors.

What is engagement, according to NSSE?

Student engagement represents two critical features of collegiate quality. The first is the amount of time and effort students put into their studies and other educationally purposeful activities. The second is how the institution deploys its resources and organizes the curriculum and other learning opportunities to get students to participate in activities that decades of research studies show are linked to student learning.

American University participates in NSSE every other year, most recently in Spring 2016. You can contact the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment at for more information, or visit

Selected Results - Spring 2016

Academic Challenge  
  • Hours spent preparing for class (studying, reading, writing, doing homework or lab work, etc. related to academic program) (16 or More Hours). FY: 49%, SY: 40%
  • Campus environment emphasizing spending significant amounts of time studying and on academic work (Quite a Bit &Very Much). FY: 84%, SY: 77%
Active and Collaborative Learning
  • Asked questions in class or contributed to course discussions in other ways (Often &Very Often). FY: 72%, SY: 78%
  • Gave a course presentation (Often &Very Often). FY: 43%, SY: 71%
Student Faculty Interaction
  • Instructors provided feedback on a draft or work in progress (Quite a Bit & Very Much). FY: 65%, SY: 59%
  • Instructors provided prompt and detailed feedback on tests or completed assignments (Quite a Bit & Very Much). FY: 60%, SY: 59%

Enriching Educational Experience

  • Campus environment encouraging contact among students from different economic, social, and racial or ethnic backgrounds (Quite a Bit & Very Much). FY: 67%, SY: 51%
  • Campus environment emphasizing attending events that address important social, economic, or political issues (Quite a Bit & Very Much). FY: 80%, SY: 72%

Supportive Campus Environment

  • Campus environment that provides the support you need to help you succeed academically (Quite a Bit & Very Much). FY: 71%, SY: 65%
  • Campus environment that provides the support you need to be included socially (Quite a Bit & Very Much). FY: 64%, SY: 61%
FY = First Year Students, SY = Senior Year Students.


Latest Survey ReportSpring 2014 (available to selected AU community members)

Latest Survey ReportSpring 2014-Additional Tables (available to selected AU community members)