National survey places ACU on top in multiple categories

Posted December 11, 2012

ACU ranked high across multiple categories in an annual report by the National Survey for Student Engagement (NSSE). The university placed well above average for its quality student-faculty interaction, enriched educational experiences and supportive campus environment.

More than 1,500 universities participated in the survey and were compared to each other in five major categories: academic challenge, active learning, student-faculty interaction, enriched educational experiences and supportive campus environment. Survey results were based on information from 668 ACU students.

Below are highlights from the survey demonstrating ACU's excellence in education.

Academic Challenge

  • 76% of students feel that ACU places substantial emphasis on academics.

Active Learning

  • More than half of students frequently discuss readings or ideas from courses outside of class.
  • By their senior year, 61% of students participated in some form of practicum, internship, field experience, co-op or clinical assignment.

Student-Faculty Interaction

  • 83% of first-year students say the faculty are available, helpful and sympathetic.
  • More than half of first-year students get prompt verbal or written feedback from faculty members.
  • 90% of seniors have talked with a faculty member about career plans, compared to only 32% at other Southwest private institutions.
  • 57% of first-year students have spent time with faculty members on activities other than coursework.

Enriched Educational Experiences

  • 78% of first-year students frequently engage in spiritually enhancing activities such as worship, meditation or prayer.
  • 82% of seniors did a community-based project as part of a regular course. Only 41% of seniors at other Southwest private institutions did so.
  • 33% of ACU seniors had a study abroad experience, compared to 6% of seniors at other Southwest private institutions.

Supportive Campus Environment

  • 85% of first-year students report that their peers are friendly, supportive and give them a sense of belonging.
  • 90% of first-year students rate their experience as good or excellent.
  • 82% of seniors would choose their school again if they could start their college career over.
  • 43% of ACU seniors spend more than 5 hours a week in co-curricular activities, compared to 11% of students at other Southwest private institutions.
  • 66% of first-year students find the administrative personnel and offices helpful, considerate and flexible.
  • 76% of first-year students feel ACU provides substantial support for their academic success, and 57% perceive substantial support for their social needs.

About the NSSE

The National Survey for Student Engagement annually collects information at hundreds of four-year colleges and universities about student participation in programs and activities that institutions provide for their learning and personal development. The results provide an estimate of how undergraduates spend their time and what they gain from attending college. Institutions use their data to identify aspects of the undergraduate experience inside and outside the classroom that can be improved through changes in policies and practices more consistent with good practices in undergraduate education. The information is also used by prospective college students, their parents, college counselors, academic advisers, institutional research officers and researchers in learning more about how students spend their time at different colleges and universities and what they gain from their experiences.

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