University of Calgary
UofC Navigation


What is NSSE?

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE, pronounced "Nessie") is a survey that measures students' levels of engagement with their institution. NSSE obtains, on an annual basis, information from hundreds of four-year colleges and universities in Canada and the United States about student participation in programs and activities that institutions provide for their learning and personal development.

Survey items on The National Survey of Student Engagement represent empirically confirmed "good practices" in undergraduate education. That is, they reflect behaviors by students and institutions that are associated with desired outcomes of university.

As of 2013, the National Survey of Student Engagement focuses on four Engagement Themes (replacing the previously-used Benchmarks): Academic Challenge; Learning with Peers; Experiences with Faculty, and Campus Environment. In addition, there is a focus on High-Impact Practices. There are 2-4 Engagement Indicators within each theme area. Please refer to NSSE Engagement Indicators for further details.

More than 1300 different colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada have participated in NSSE since it was first administered in 2000. Each year, first-year and senior-year students at participating institutions receive the survey directly from NSSE by e-mail in late February. They are sent three e-mail reminders to complete the survey. Institutions receive their results in late August or early September.

The University of Calgary is committed to both participating in NSSE and addressing the results that we receive from our students. We administered NSSE in 2004, 2007, 2008, 2011, and 2014.