Hannah King · December 14, 2011
According to the 2010 National Survey of Student Engagement, 98 percent of Southern Virginia University seniors said that they would pick the university again if they had the chance.
This percentage of seniors is significantly higher than the average for all NSSE institutions. Additionally, the university outperformed the average for all participating schools in every major category of the survey.
The NSSE is given annually to first-year and senior college students throughout the U.S. and Canada. In the spring of 2010, 587 colleges and universities participated. The survey consists of 85 questions on activities and attitudes associated with meaningful collegiate learning.
“The results illustrate Southern Virginia University’s success in providing unparalleled opportunities for learning, participation and personal growth,” said Dr. John Armstrong, the university’s associate provost and chair of the Institutional Effectiveness Committee. “Our ratings are significantly higher than the average for all NSSE institutions. Most of our 2010 results were stronger than those of 2006 and 2008, which shows that Southern Virginia is getting even better at engaging students in meaningful learning.”
The survey results are divided into five broad categories: level of academic challenge, active and collaborative learning, student-faculty interaction, enriching educational experiences, and supportive campus environment. In all five categories—for both first-year students and seniors—Southern Virginia’s rankings are much higher than NSSE averages, often in the upper 10 percent.
“All of my responses were honest,” said one Southern Virginia senior in the 2010 NSSE. “I did not expect to receive the quality of education that I have at this university, but it truly has been the greatest investment of my life. My professors have taken a special interest in my academics and my personal life, and have challenged me to do my best work at all times, providing significant assistance along the way. As a result I have been very successful in my years at Southern Virginia.”
The top ways in which students’ rankings of Southern Virginia were above average included the university’s contribution to their personal development of a deepened sense of spirituality. Other ways included spiritual activities available on campus, access to faculty, ethical growth, attending events in the arts, growth in community service and leadership, and foreign language study.
“Southern Virginia University changed my life … for the better,” said one first-year Southern Virginia student in the 2010 NSSE. “I’ve gone to two previous four-year colleges. I received good grades, but I was lacking in a true education. The classes at [Southern Virginia] challenge me and make me enjoy learning more. I’m a better person because of my enrollment at [Southern Virginia]. I’ve matured as a student, citizen and overall human being. I’ve learned good study habits and found a desire for learning. I really love it here!”
From the survey results, the vast majority of the seniors at the university believe that Southern Virginia is a good investment, 95 percent of them rating their educational experience at the university as “good” or “excellent.”
“Going to Southern Virginia University was the best decision I have ever made,” said a Southern Virginia senior in the survey.
The most recent NSSE results combine with previous years’ results and other measurements of success, such as the Student Satisfaction Inventory and the Collegiate Learning Assessment, to illustrate the value of a Southern Virginia education.
Armstrong said that the proof of a quality experience at Southern Virginia is in the data.
“For Latter-day Saint students seeking a college that engages them intellectually, socially, spiritually and professionally, our research shows that Southern Virginia will bless their lives in all the ways an outstanding undergraduate education should,” said Armstrong.