Northern students report quality interactions with faculty, advisors in survey

ABERDEEN, S.D. – Northern State University students who completed a biennial survey on student engagement reported higher quality interactions with advisors and faculty than their peers at other South Dakota institutions who also participated in the survey.

That’s according to 2018 results of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). Northern participates in NSSE, which collects information from first-year and senior students, every two years.

In 2018, 198 Northern students responded to the survey, for a response rate of 28 percent among first-year students and 33 percent among seniors, according to the NSU Office of Institutional Research. That’s in line with the national average of 30 percent.

The Northern students participating in the survey reported effective teaching practices and a supportive environment – more so than their peers in other South Dakota institutions.

In particular, NSU seniors rated their student-faculty interactions higher than seniors at other South Dakota schools. This corresponds to the specific examples of having discussions with faculty outside of class, talking with faculty about career plans and their own academic performance, and working with a faculty member on a non-course-related activity.

Higher Ratings for Academic Advisors

NSU first-year students also gave high ratings to interactions with their academic advisors. The advisor ratings were higher than during previous NSSE surveys, which can likely be attributed to the university’s move to designated academic advisors for each school, said NSU Director of Institutional Research and Assessment Dr. Brenda Mammenga.

Satisfaction with Northern was also high among respondents. Among first-year students, 84 percent gave NSU “excellent” or “good,” similar to the 85 percent among other South Dakota institutions. For NSU seniors, that rating was 90 percent – higher than the 87 percent among other institutions in the state.

Also worth noting is that, when asked whether they would attend this institution again if given the chance to re-do their first year, a higher percentage of NSU’s first-year students responded with “definitely” or “probably” than first-year students at other South Dakota NSSE-participating schools.

About Northern State University

Northern State University is a regional university that offers outstanding academics and exceptional extracurricular activities at an affordable price on a safe, welcoming campus. Northern State recently announced its Educational Impact Campaign, with a goal of raising $55 million for a new South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, new athletic and recreation fields, and an on-campus regional sports complex. Once the campaign is complete, NSU will be the recipient of more than $100 million in privately funded building projects and scholarships within a decade. To learn more, visit NSU Admissions.