An assessment of UW-Platteville’s past NSSE scores

Last week, the Exponent reported on the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) that freshmen and sophomores have been urged to complete.
How has UW-Platteville fared on previous surveys?
The results for the NSSE at UW-Platteville between the years of 2013 and 2017 show little change or improvement from key areas between the two years’ surveys.
The NSSE uses 10 different “Engagement Indicators” to help evaluate certain sectors in a student’s academic career. These indicators are grouped into four subcategories, academic challenge, learning with peers, experiences with faculty and campus environment.
Between the 2013 and 2017 survey, UW-Platteville’s Engagement Indicators stayed largely the same. Freshmen’s experience was completely average or below average in comparison to other similar schools. Senior’s experience was somewhat similar, with the majority of indicators showing average or below average results, with the exception of the “Quantitative Reasoning” and “Collaborative Learning” indicators, both scoring above average in both the 2013 and 2017 surveys.
The NSSE also compiles the schools five strongest and weakest areas from the indicators by margin.
The Senior group’s highest performing sectors in comparison to other schools stayed almost the same between the 2013 and 2017 survey years, with four out of the five selections still being highest performing, albeit in different rankings. Some of these high performing sectors include “Working with other students on course assignments,” “Asking other students to help you with course material,” and “Reaching conclusions based on your own analysis of numerical info.”
On the other hand, the Senior group’s five lowest performing sectors also remained largely the same between the two years. These problem areas included “Discussions with people of a race or ethnicity other than your own,” “Evaluating a point of view, decision or information source,” and “Including diverse perspectives in discussions or assignments.”
A sizable improvement for the “Discussions with people of a race or ethnicity other than your own,” sector had been made in the survey for 2017, as it dropped from a –32 below average, to a -18 below average. However, all other sectors either stayed the same or worsened from the 13’ to the 17’ surveys. The “Connecting learning to societal problems or issues” and the “Evaluating a point of view” sectors both increased by two points for the 17’ survey, to –17 and –20 respectively.
Finally, the NSSE compiles information about general student satisfaction about the school. The two indicators the survey uses are “Percentage rating their [the students’] overall experience as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’” and “Percentage who would ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ attend this [UW-Platteville] institution again”
Freshman experience rating dropped from 87 percent in 2013, the national average, to 84 percent in 2017, one point below the average. Senior experience was similarly affected, as it dropped from 85 percent, one point below the national average in 2013, to 81 percent in 2017.
The Freshmen re-attendance metric improved for the 17’ survey year however, with the percentage of students willing to attend again increasing to 87 percent, 3 percent greater than the national average, and 1 percent greater than the 13’ survey.
However, the Senior re-attendance metric showed different, with Senior students 1 percent less likely to re-attend, dropping to 80 percent in the 17’ survey, while the national average increased to 83% in comparison.
Overall, according to NSSE results, UW-Platteville’s indicators score generally below average, aside from a couple bright points, with the sorest points lying in the campus environment and diversity sectors. Student satisfaction generally average and lies mostly within margin the national averages.