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Sheridan gets top marks for student engagement in national survey

November 25, 2014

The results of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) were released late last week, and for the second year in a row, Sheridan achieved above-average results in the areas of Student-Faculty Interaction, Effective Teaching Practices, and High-Impact Practices. These rankings are based on a comparison with other Canadian postsecondary institutions, 73 of which participated in this year’s survey. The survey is focused on students enrolled in four-year degree programs.

Student engagement represents two critical features of higher education quality. The first is the amount of time and effort students put into their studies and other educationally purposeful activities. The second is how the institution deploys its resources and organizes the curriculum and other learning opportunities to get students to participate in activities that decades of research studies show are linked to student learning.

The following results exemplify Sheridan’s strong commitment to and belief in the value of student engagement through student-faculty interaction and effective teaching practices:

  • 43% of Sheridan senior year degree students often talked about career plans with a faculty member, compared with the Canadian national average of 27%
  • 42% of Sheridan senior year degree students often discussed course topics, ideas or concepts with a faculty member outside of class, compared with the national average of 27%
  • 36% of Sheridan senior year students often discussed their academic performance with a faculty member, compared with the national average of 20%

Sheridan also excelled in its use of High-Impact Practices, which NSSE defines as a range of undergraduate activities that foster learning and can be life-changing, such as internships, community-based projects, participation in research projects, and a culminating senior experience (capstone project, thesis, portfolio, etc.). Specifically,

  • 94% of Sheridan senior year degree students participated in at least one high impact practice, compared with the national average of 79%
  • 82% of Sheridan senior year students participated in an internship or field placement in their senior year, compared with the national average of 47%.

Sheridan also achieved solid results with respect to first year student satisfaction, with 87% compared to the national average of 80%, reflecting Sheridan’s comprehensive orientation programming and commitment to successful transition for first-year students.

The National Survey of Student Engagement was conceived in 1998 and launched in 2000 as a new approach to gathering information about collegiate quality.  More than 1,500 colleges and universities have participated in NSSE since 2000. Sheridan began offering its own four-year degrees in 2003, and currently offers 20 in addition to five joint degrees with university partners. This is the third year in which Sheridan has taken part in the NSSE.