• Stuart Donlan

Data to Prove Students Have Changed

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has changed the college landscape, but how has it specifically affected Olivet College students? The college hopes to soon have the data to better understand the pandemic’s impact on student life and engagement.

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) is a tool for measuring the participation of freshman and senior level students. It provides participating colleges and universities with data and compares their results with other institutions according to the University of Kansas website.

KayDee Perry, who is coordinating the NSSE here at Olivet, said in a recorded interview, “The last time we did this survey was in 2020, which our students were filling it out right when COVID struck.” This means that the new data gathered will help show the college which areas of student participation have been doing well and which have been struggling since the start of the pandemic.

“I’m interested to see how our data has changed since COVID,” said Perry who serves as special assistant to the provost for retention and student success for the college. “I am excited for students to take it just because I think we have an opportunity to learn a lot and become better.”

In past years, the NSSE has shown that as a college, Olivet outperforms similar institutions in many engagement categories. “Our students interact with faculty way more frequently. Our students engage in certain activities way more than other institutions, and that’s a good thing,” said Perry. This upcoming survey will show whether this is still the case.

According to Perry, the survey will be sent out to students toward the end of the semester on March 15. It will consist of quick prompts with multiple choice ranking questions which will be completed online and should take no more than about ten minutes.

There should be no need for students to set aside personal time for the survey. In a message sent to out to faculty, Provost Maria Davis asked professors to set aside time “to allow students to complete the survey during the seminar class.”


Courtesy Image.