Students at Texas A&M International University are scoring TAMIU high on a survey highlighting its level of academic challenge, active and collaborative learning and supportive campus environment. Many score TAMIU higher than peer institutions and national average responses on the 2011 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE).
The NSSE Survey seeks responses from First Year and Senior students. Those responses are compared to a peer group in The Texas A&M University System, other Carnegie Class universities like TAMIU and national comparison groups.
The NSSE 2011 survey for TAMIU reveals that:
- 78% of First Year students felt that TAMIU placed substantial interest on academics.
- 63% of First Year students said they worked harder than they thought they could to meet faculty expectations.
- By the time they were seniors, 46% of TAMIU students had participated in community service.
- 83% of seniors discussed career plans with TAMIU faculty and by their senior year, 40% had participated in an internship, practicum, field experience or clinical assignment.
- 81% of First Year students felt that the institution had a substantial commitment to their academic progress and 60% felt well supported by TAMIU regarding their social needs.
- 91% of First Year students reported a favorable image of TAMIU and 85% of TAMIU seniors said they would have chosen the school again if they could start their college career over.
Veronica Martínez, TAMIU director of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning, said the survey also reveals the struggle that students face with challenges for their time.
“55% of seniors indicated that they devote no time to co-curricular activities. That’s because 16% are working on campus, 39% off campus, usually for 16-plus hours a week. In addition, 42% of students also must provide 10 or more hours a week in care for dependents. That doesn’t leave a lot of free time,” Martinez explained.
Martinez said the NSSE survey is part of TAMIU’s quality improvement program.
“As part of our institutional commitment to quality improvement, TAMIU regularly conducts satisfaction assessments of its students, full-time employees and evaluates academic experience, student opinions and more,” she said.
Mary Treviño, TAMIU, associate vice president for academic affairs, concurred, noting that the NSSE is but one survey tool the University uses.
“We use approximately seven assessments or surveys on an annual or bi-annual basis and their results are regularly reviewed to determine the need for adjustments or change. These assessments are our barometers, our indicators of how we’re doing. It’s important that we not only offer these assessments and share our results, but that we carefully review the findings and determine how we can change to reinforce our commitment to continuous improvement,” Treviño observed.
Treviño recalled that in the University’s earlier days such opportunities for feedback generally came from hallway conversations with students and anecdotal observations. Today, that delivery is electronic, rhythmically regular and secure.
“We’re looking for data and for chances to measure, benchmark and improve our operations, programs -- all aspects of our service and its delivery…and we require a regular cycle of these assessments so that comparative data can be easily mined,” Treviño said.
Noting the survey’s indication that students participate in community service, she said coming University programming will expand on that opportunity.
This new year, we begin an aggressive Leadership Development program for students. We have also secured a new Title V Grant that will expand service-learning opportunities. So yes, these surveys really help us to better serve our students and provide them with the learning experience they deserve,” she concluded.
Additional TAMIU NSSE Survey findings are available at http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/documents/documents/TheStudentExperienceInBrief2011.pdf
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