LC one of eight

Thursday November 10 2011


Lynchburg College was one of eight colleges in the nation chosen for further study for its continuing good marks on the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE).

LC ranked well above the national average of U.S. colleges and universities according to the 2010 NSSE survey. The survey shows how much and how often students study, read, write papers, interact with faculty, and find support from the campus community.

NSSE staff analyzed the data from a decade of study to focus on the schools that showed the most improvement. They identified 534 schools and then asked the top 64 to explain what they were doing to create increasing amounts of engagement on their campuses. From those responses, they chose eight schools to visit, and LC was one of them.

The other seven schools are: Augustana College, Santa Clara University, Ohio University, Clark University, Wright State University, University of Western Florida, and Southern Connecticut State University.

The recent visit to LC by Jillian Kinzie, associate director of the NSSE Institute, and staff member Tony Ribera, included interviews with 60 faculty and staff.

"They were very impressed by how intentional we are at creating systems of support," said Mari Normyle, assistant dean for academic and career services.

That support ranges from achievement and persistence awards for students who have showed significant academic improvement to experiential learning grants to give more students the opportunity to study abroad or have internships.

LC will participate in the 2012 NSSE survey. More than half of the senior class participated in the 2010 survey. The chart below shows how seniors at Lynchburg College ranked LC compared to the total NSSE respondents.

Characteristic LC score Total respondents
Supportive campus environment 71.6 59.6
Level of academic challenge 63.8 57.5
Active and collaborative learning 59.3 51.4
Enriching educational experiences 56.2 40.5
Student-faculty interaction 56.1 42.4

"We have consistently been above our comparison schools," Normyle said.

The NSSE project is sponsored by the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and the Pew Forum for Undergraduate Learning.