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ERIC Number: ED569195
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jun
Pages: 78
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 8
Independent Colleges and Student Engagement: Descriptive Analysis by Institutional Type. A 2015 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) Special Analysis for the Council of Independent Colleges
Gonyea, Robert M.; Kinzie, Jillian
Council of Independent Colleges
Critics of traditional, residential, liberal arts colleges and universities contend that this form of higher education is outmoded, too costly, and no longer educationally relevant for 21st century students. Economies of scale, large classes taught by contingent faculty members and graduate students, and increasing reliance on technology and online learning, so the argument goes, are the only cost-effective means of meeting the educational challenges of the future. Building on a half century of research, this report draws recent evidence from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) to demonstrate that students at private colleges and universities are engaged in their education much more than students at public institutions. Areas of distinction in the private institution undergraduate experience include a more academically challenging education, better relations with faculty members, more substantial interactions with others on campus, and the consistent perception that students have learned and grown more, in comparison with public institutions. This report, prepared for the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), draws on the most current NSSE data, from 2013 and 2014, that include more than 540,000 first-year and senior students enrolled at more than 900 four-year colleges and universities. Findings are presented with comparisons across four institutional types: (1) baccalaureate and master's level private institutions (CIC's predominant membership profile), (2) baccalaureate and master's level public institutions, (3) doctoral private institutions, and (4) doctoral public institutions. Included in the analysis are measures from the updated NSSE that includes ten new Engagement Indicators, six High-Impact Practices, the Perceived Gains scale, and a Satisfaction scale. The following are appended: (1) NSSE 2013 and 2014 Participating Institutions by Carnegie/Control Groups; (2) Frequencies by Institutional Control--First-Year Students; (3) Frequencies by Institutional Control--Seniors; (4) Statistical Comparisons by Institutional Control--First-Year Students; (5) Statistical Comparisons by Institutional Control--Seniors; (6) Frequencies by Carnegie/Control Groups--First-Year Students; (7) Frequencies by Carnegie/Control Groups--Seniors; (8) Descriptive Statistics and Statistical Comparisons by Carnegie/Control Groups--First-Year Students; (9) Descriptive Statistics and Statistical Comparisons by Carnegie/Control Groups--Seniors; and (10) Results for High-Impact Practices.
Council of Independent Colleges. 1 Dupont Circle NW Suite 320, Washington DC 20036-1142. Tel: 202-466-7230; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Council of Independent Colleges
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Survey of Student Engagement