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THE NATIONAL SURVEY OF STUDENT ENGAGEMENT
What makes learning a true education?
Each year the National Survey of Student Engagement, or NSSE, asks students at hundreds of colleges and universities to reflect on their experience at school through questions targeted at student success. Results from NSSE offer prospective students insights into how they might learn and develop at a given college. According to NSSE, COA stands among the top 10% of all colleges for our students' engagement with learning. These results, summarized below, and depicted in the chart, were provided by randomly selected first-year students and seniors.
COA students are far more likely to contribute to class discussions, ask questions, and discuss ideas raised in class with both students and faculty outside of their class than students at other surveyed schools.
For the 2010 results, nearly 90% of COA students said they frequently integrated concepts from different courses in class discussions or assignments, compared to 62% of students at other colleges.
COA students are far more likely to engage with other students and connect with faculty and staff members of the college than students at other surveyed schools.
In 2010, more than two-thirds of COA seniors said they frequently continued their discussions with faculty outside of class, compared to only about a quarter of seniors elsewhere.
Having participated in an internship and begun work on their senior project, COA seniors rate the richness of their experience significantly higher than do students at other surveyed schools.
Education is not memorizing; it's synthesizing, analyzing, applying - using knowledge. At COA this happens. 88% of students say their courses involve synthesizing knowledge, and understanding it well enough to make judgments. At other schools, only 73% of students find this is true in classes.
Perhaps that's because COA students are much more likely to integrate their work from various sources and classes than students elsewhere - 94% of COA students commonly do this v.s. 83% elsewhere. And 86% of students actively participate in classes as opposed to 68% of students not at COA.
Students at COA generally find the help they need. 80% of students found faculty to be available, helpful, sympathetic, as compared to 50% of students studying elsewhere.
They experience similar support from COA's staff: 65% find staff to be helpful, considerate and flexible as they navigate the requirements of the academic process. At other schools, only 35% of students experience a similar helpfulness.