Students’ NSSE Responses Make a Difference: Encourage Your Students to Take the NSSE Survey

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) opens February 7, with email invitations to all WSU seniors and first-year students. Now is the time to encourage student participation and underscore the value of student input to continually improve the student experience at WSU. To support strong response rates – and thus provide more reliable input from students – we ask that faculty utilize the below suggestions for messaging out to students about NSSE (both in and out of the classroom). 

  • Remind freshmen and seniors in February and March that the NSSE is open and can be accessed via the link sent to student WSU emails,, and Blackboard Learn.
  • Use the following PowerPoint slide as an in class reminder to students – especially important in classes with many seniors or freshmen. Can be shown weekly in class during February and March, as possible.
  • Print and post the attached PDF as a flier in offices or other areas.

Schedule of 2017 Email Dates. On Tuesday, February 7, NSSE will send a link to the survey to the emails of WSU freshmen and seniors with a cover letter from WSU Provost and Executive Vice President Daniel J. Bernardo. Reminder emails from NSSE will be sent to non-respondents on February 15, March 7, March 21, and March 27 with a cover letter from Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Mary F. Wack. Students aren’t limited to taking the survey on email reminder days. They can link to the survey on any day starting Tuesday, February 7 through mid-May.
NOTE: NSSE must be presented as an optional activity and students cannot be required or coerced to participate. WSU faculty and staff may not directly email individual seniors or freshmen about NSSE. You may, however, use blanket distribution, such as in connection with a newsletter or social media.

Use of NSSE Results. Every two years, WSU participates in the NSSE survey to help assess student engagement in educational practices associated with high levels of learning and development. The survey provides valuable data for the departments, colleges and the university. NSSE results provide departments and colleges with information about the student perspective to help continually improve the learning experience for students. WSU students’ NSSE responses have also helped the university understand what is going well in terms of student engagement, and areas that could improve. NSSE results have helped the institution build learning communities that bridge classes and residence halls, broaden high-impact undergraduate research opportunities with mentoring faculty, and expand student services. See results from previous NSSE surveys on the WSU Institutional Research website.

“With this 2017 NSSE survey, we are hoping that more students than ever will click on the link to the online questions. Colleges and departments, as well as university administrators, are eager for student feedback on how well we are engaging them in their education and our academic community. Their responses will be evaluated to show what students feel is needed to make WSU the best university possible in terms of offering a transformative student experience in and outside of classrooms.” said Mary F. Wack, WSU vice provost for undergraduate education.

On behalf of the Provost’s Office, Institutional Research, and the Office of Undergraduate Education, we greatly appreciate faculty help with this university-wide promotion of NSSE, taking place on all WSU campuses.