LC nets high NSSE rankings

Lynchburg College once again ranks well above the national average of U.S. colleges and universities in student engagement, according to the 2010 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE).

The survey shows how much and how often students study, read, write papers, interact with faculty, and find support from the campus community. Mari Normyle, assistant dean for academic and career services, said NSSE is a measure of behavior of “academically purposeful activities.”

“Our senior results are extremely strong,” she said. “This survey shows students what graduating from Lynchburg College does for you.”

A sampling of 2010 graduates includes:

Loriann Garcia, who is pursuing graduate studies in entomology at Texas A&M University after doing undergraduate research in Panama on ants and spiders with an LC professor;

Kristin Bell, who received a job offer as an intelligence analyst with the Department of Justice after two internships with the department and extensive study abroad while at LC;

John Marks, who was awarded a full stipend and research/teaching assistantship to pursue his PhD in history at Rice University after doing undergraduate research on the social geography of the slave trade in Lynchburg.

These three individuals are former Westover Honors students.

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

Supportive campus environment: 71.6 vs. 59.6

Level of academic challenge: 63.8 vs. 57.5

Active and collaborative learning: 59.3 vs. 51.4

Enriching educational experiences: 56.2 vs. 40.5

Student-faculty interaction: 56.1 vs. 42.4

Seniors also reported:

• 93 percent were happy with administrative staff interactions

• 94 percent met with faculty to discuss career plans

• 75 percent have participated in community service or volunteer work

“We have consistently been above our comparison schools,” Normyle said. This is the sixth year LC has participated in the survey since 2001. About 600 four-year colleges and universities took part in NSSE in 2010.

Seniors in the NSSE survey also report that significant areas of growth while at LC include:

• Writing and speaking clearly and effectively

• Learning effectively on their own

• Understanding people of other racial/ethnic backgrounds

• Solving complex, real-world problems

• Voting in local, state, or national elections

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.

Lynchburg College is also putting increased emphasis on post-graduation plans, Normyle said. Traditionally, emphasis has been placed on getting into college, not leaving it.

LC graduates from 2008 report:

• 84 percent were employed within one year of graduation

• Average salary was between $30,000 and $39,000

• 17 percent are attending graduate school

For more information, contact Mari Normyle, assistant dean for academic and career services, at 434.544.8235, or Shannon Brennan, director of media relations, at 434.544.8609.