National Survey of Student Engagement/ BEAMS Project
A recent initiative of the Student Success Committee is participation in the BEAMS (Building Engagement and Attainment of Minority Students) Project. BEAMS started as a collaborative project between the American Association of Higher Education (AAHE) and the National Survey of Student Engagement. Each BEAMS institution administers the National Survey of Student Engagement twice during the course of the project. At the conclusion of the project, the campus teams attended the AAHE Summer Academy to share results and propose interventions. Because NSSE focuses on student behavior, colleges can use the data in varying productive ways to 1) guide and monitor institutional improvement, 2) link information about student engagement and the teaching and learning environment, 3) promote student faculty interaction, 4) compare first-year and senior students experiences, using both cross-sectional and longitudinal approaches, 5) compare performance against peer institutions, and 6) verify the need for a first year experience. The project completed its first year in 2004. Findings revealed fairly consistent information when compared to other similar institutions. Given the campuss strong commitment to faculty-student engagement, the campus team attending the American Association of Higher Education Summer Academy focused on faculty/student connections as their study area in July 2004. One of the questions the group hopes to continue to study is whether the indicators measured in the survey are accurate reflections of faculty-student connections. The survey project will continue for several years to provide appropriate data collection.
Mr. Ronald Noble, Dean of Students, (209) 667-3177