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NSSE 2012

2011-2012 National Survey of Student Engagement


The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) is a national survey conducted by Indiana University to gather data from four-year institutions in the U.S. and Canada regarding “student participation in programs and activities that institutions provide for their learning and personal development.”  You can find more detailed information from the NSSE Survey site at

The NSSE is broken down into 5 major benchmarks:

  • Level of Academic Challenge (LAC)
  • Active and Collaborative Learning (ACL)
  • Student-Faculty Interaction (SFI)
  • Enriching Educational Experiences (EEE)
  • Supportive Campus Environments (SCE)

How did we do?

Based on the students that responded to the survey, the university exceeds the average results of other schools participating in the NSSE survey in five out of 10 benchmark categories, while the freshmen showed significantly higher means on all five benchmarks compared to our participating peers. 

Who completed the survey?

In 2012, WCU had 179 first-year students and 263 seniors completed the survey.  See below for an abbreviated table of our respondent characteristics.  See the full Respondent Characteristics report for more details.




  WCU All WCU All
Female 75% 65% 63% 64%
Male 25% 35% 37% 36%
Enrollment Status        
Full-time 99% 94% 82% 84%
Part-time 1% 6% 18% 16%
White 72% 66% 84% 68%
Other 19% 2% 11% 1%
Unknown 9% 5% 5% 6%

Nationally, 321,649 students (25% response rate) participated in the survey this year, from 577 institutions in the United States and Canada.  Since NSSE’s inception in 1999, more than 2 million students have participated in the survey from almost 1,500 colleges and universities.

Selected Comments

  • Western Carolina University is an amazing institution and I would recommend it for all people. (First-year, Female)
  • All the instructors are very helpful and really care about the success of the students. (First-year, Male)
  • WCU is a great institution. There are a lot of benefits to attending a smaller university like WCU. The teachers care about you, the student community is very nonjudgmental (sic), and the location is perfect for those who enjoy the outdoors. (Senior, Female)
  • WCU is a great is a great institution and I am proud to have selected it for my education. (Senior, Male)

NSSE Reports

NSSE2012 Benchmark Comparisons Report (PDF)

NSSE2012 Executive Snapshot (PDF)

NSSE2012 Mean and Frequency Reports (PDF)

NSSE2012 Multi-Year Benchmark Report (PDF) 

NSSE2012 Respondent Characteristics (PDF)

NSSE2012 Selected Comparison Groups (PDF) 

NSSE2012 Student Experience In Brief (PDF)

NSSE Major Field Reports

NSSE2012 Major Field Report-Arts and Sciences (PDF)

NSSE2012 Major Field Report-Business (PDF)

NSSE2012 Major Field Report-Education (PDF)

NSSE2012 Major Field Report-Fine Arts (PDF)

NSSE2012 Major Field Report-Health (PDF) 

NSSE2012 Major Field Report-Other and Undecided (PDF)

NSSE2012 Major Field Report-Within Institution (PDF)

BCSSE Reports

BCSSE2011-NSSE2012 Combined Report (PDF)

BCSSE2011-NSSE2012 Respondent Characteristics (PDF)

FSSE Reports

FSSE2012 Reports (PDF)


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