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Students in National Survey Rank FGCU Better Than Most Universities
11/10/2003

FORT MYERS, FL - In an institutional benchmarking study accompanying today's release of the National Survey of Student Engagement's (NSSE) College Student Report -- a report which annually displays information from colleges and universities about student participation in activities that promote student learning and personal development--Florida Gulf Coast University placed no lower than the 85th percentile and as high as the 99th percentile on each component of NSSE's “Index of Institutional Engagement.”

“The Index,” which adjusts student response scores for differences in institutional characteristics, provides a picture of how student responses from one institution are distributed in comparison to those obtained from 185,000 first-year and senior undergraduates among the 649 four-year colleges and universities included in the study along five key dimensions critical to the undergraduate experience. These five categories and the associated FGCU student responses are displayed below:

     Level of Academic Challenge - FGCU first-year students better than 94 percent of all participating institutions; FGCU seniors better than 98 percent

     Active and Collaborative Learning - FGCU first-year students and seniors better than 99 percent of all participating institutions

     Student-Faculty Interactions, inside and outside the classroom - FGCU first-year students better than 88 percent of all participating institutions; FGCU seniors better than 94 percent

     Enriching Educational Experiences - FGCU first-year students better than 95 percent of all participating institutions; FGCU seniors better than 99 percent

     Supportive Campus Environment - FGCU first-year students better than 89 percent of all participating institutions; FGCU seniors better than 85 percent

“The items that comprise the index are integral to a high quality undergraduate college experience,” associate vice president for Planning and Institutional Performance Paul Snyder said. “They reflect best practices in undergraduate education and student behaviors that are associated with desired outcomes of college. The results are based on student perceptions and the students are randomly sampled. FGCU was not involved in the selection of students sampled as part of the study.”

"The results show excellent alignment of the University's undergraduate student learning goals with those nationally recognized, and indicate that FGCU is on the right track toward achieving national prominence in undergraduate education," said FGCU President Bill Merwin.

FGCU will use its results from the study to further enhance the undergraduate experience for its students. The information is also intended for use by prospective college students, parents, college counselors, advisers, institutional research officers and researchers in learning more about how students spend their time at different institutions and what they gain from their experiences.

The NSSE and the annual “The College Student Report” were developed in response to criticism of college reviews such as U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges,” which focus largely upon inputs rather than outcomes and do not directly seek student feedback concerning the quality of the undergraduate experience. “The College Student Report” is available on the World Wide Web at .

For more information and a copy of the accompanying 2003 Institutional Benchmark Report, contact Snyder at (239) 590-7050 or psnyder@fgcu.edu.

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