The survey's 2000 findings clearly showed that liberal arts colleges, as a group, score higher than all other types of colleges in every area of effective practice that is measured.
The survey is an attempt to find new ways of measuring colleges' performance that focuses on the value students receive from their college experience. Of the sophomore and seniors surveyed last year, 89 percent rated their college experience "good" or "excellent." Eighty-four percent of sophomores and 82 percent of seniors would "probably" or "definitely" attend the same school again if they could start over.
Wittenberg's mean scores for strong academics, academic support, and social and ethnic diversity compared favorably with Wittenberg's comparison group. That distinguished group included Bryn Mawr, Haverford, Mount Holyoke and Spelman Colleges. Student satisfaction levels for Wittenberg were comparable with that comparison group and higher than the complete sample of colleges.
Students scored Wittenberg highest in "quality of relationships." Sophomores' satisfaction in their relationships with other students measured higher than both groups. Seniors scored their relationships with faculty higher than the full group or the comparison group.
The university is using the results to improving the student experience through the Board of Academic Standards, Committee on Assessment of Academic Achievement, Writing and Speaking Committee, Diversity Advisory Committee and the Faculty Development Coordinator.
The National Survey of Student Engagement is issued by Indiana University's Center for Postsecondary Research and Planning, is funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts.