National Survey of Student Engagement

Every two years, WSU participates in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) to help assess senior and first-year student engagement in educational practices associated with high levels of learning and development. After each administration, ACE collaborates with WSU’s Office of Institutional Research to disaggregate results by major for undergraduate degree programs and colleges, focusing on responses from seniors, to provide information about the student perspective to help continually improve the learning experience for students. These disaggregated results were first piloted with WSU’s 2014 & 2015 NSSE administrations.

This webpage and its resources are focused on NSSE in the context of program-level assessment, see our Student Surveys webpage for more information about locally developed surveys and program-level assessment.

Note: NSSE provides participating institutions with a variety of institution- and campus-level reports. WSU’s current and historic institution-wide NSSE results are available on the Institutional Research NSSE survey webpage. In addition, NSSE results are compiled for UCORE Assessment to provide indirect evidence of student learning on the outcomes of the UCORE general education program at the first-year and senior levels. For more general information about NSSE at WSU, including resources for promoting NSSE, see WSU’s NSSE website.

NSSE Toolkit

The resources below are intended to help departments and programs as they interpret NSSE as an indirect measure for program-level assessment. ACE is available to collaborate with undergraduate degree programs on NSSE as an indirect measure for program assessment; contact us for additional information or for more information about disaggregated NSSE results for undergraduate degree programs.

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Interpreting NSSE ResultsSurvey InstrumentNSSE - Indiana UniversityNSSE 2023 Survey Instrument with Topical Modules (PDF)Copy of the 2023 NSSE survey instrument and topical modules (First‐Year Experiences and Senior Transitions & Inclusiveness and Engagement with Cultural Diversity), with mapping to the WSU Undergraduate Learning Goals and color-coding to align with NSSE's engagement indicators
Interpreting NSSE ResultsGuiding QuestionsACE - WSUInterpreting NSSE Results: Guiding Questions for WSU Programs (DOCX)Resource intended to help WSU programs and faculty consider NSSE results as part of program-level assessment
Use of NSSESpotlightACE - WSUMolecular Biosciences: Using NSSE Results to Assess the Senior ExperienceSpotlight blog describing how the School of Molecular Biosciences (SMB) used the 2017 NSSE responses from their seniors to identify program strengths and set priorities for improvement, as well as corroborate the results of other assessment measures
Sample RepresentationQuick GuideACE - WSUQuick Guide to Sampling, Sample Sizes, and Representation (PDF)Resource intended to help WSU programs and faculty consider good practices for considering sample sizes and strategies for program-level assessment
Data StewardshipQuick GuideACE - WSUQuick Guide to Assessment Data Stewardship for Academic Programs (PDF)Resource intended to help WSU programs and faculty consider good practices for collecting, managing, and using program assessment data that align with WSU’s Executive Policy #8

Additional Resources and Scholarship


Note: Please contact ACE to borrow a book.

Suskie, L. (2018). Chapter 19: Selecting published instruments. In Assessing Student Learning: A Common Sense Guide. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.


Suskie, L. Blog posts queried for ‘NSSE’, A Common Sense Approach to Assessment in Higher Education Blog.