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Notre Dame of Maryland University Earns High Marks in Student Engagement

September 20, 2011

Notre Dame of Maryland University students are among the most engaged in the United States, according to the 2011 National Survey of Student Engagement. The study of first- and senior-year students showed Notre Dame Women’s College undergraduates are more engaged and more satisfied with their college experiences than their peers at similar institutions across the country.

The NSSE assesses the extent to which students participate in activities that are associated with high levels of learning and development. Notre Dame’s first-year students ranked in the top 10 percent nationwide on the benchmark scales of “level of academic challenge,” “active and collaborative learning,” “student-faculty interaction,” and “enriching educational experiences.” Notre Dame seniors are ranked in the top 10 percent on scales representing levels of academic challenge, and ranked among the top 50 percent on indicators of active and collaborative learning, student-faculty interaction and enriching educational experiences.

“Notre Dame’s undergraduate focus on core experiences fosters a community of engaged scholars,” said Mary Pat Seurkamp, Ph.D., president of Notre Dame. “Faculty interactions, experiential opportunities and mentoring relationships are critical components of student success, and are hallmarks of a Notre Dame education.”

Among highlights from the 2011 survey:

  • Personal relationships with faculty motivate students at Notre Dame to excel academically. Seventy-five percent of first year students “worked harder than they thought they could” to meet an instructor’s standards or expectations, compared to 62 percent of their peers nationwide and fully 100 percent of senior students in the survey worked harder than they thought they could to meet an instructor’s standards or expectations.
  • Notre Dame students enjoy a close, collaborative relationship with faculty that goes beyond the classroom. During their first year on campus, 95 percent of students talked about career plans with a faculty member or advisor, compared to 75 percent of their peers nationwide and another 49 percent of students worked with faculty members on activities other than coursework (committees, orientation, student life activities, etc.) compared to 42 percent of their peers nationwide. As seniors, 72 percent of students worked with faculty members on activities other than coursework (committees, orientation, student life activities), versus 51 percent of their peers nationwide, and 83 percent discussed ideas from their readings or classes with faculty members outside of the classroom compared to 70 percentof their peers nationwide
  • Experiential learning is valued by Notre Dame students, where 47 percent of senior students completed a practicum, internship, field experience, co-op experience, or clinical assignment. Fully 61 percent of senior students pursued community service or volunteer work while at Notre Dame, compared to 56 percent of their peers at other institutions. Twenty-six percent of Notre Dame seniors studied abroad compared to 11 percent of their peers nationwide. In addition, seventy-one percent of first year students plan to study abroad compared to 38 percent of their peers nationwide.
  • Notre Dame students develop into confident, engaged adults. Eighty percent of Notre Dame seniors said they understand themselves better as a result of their college experience compared to 66 percent of their peers nationwide. Living and learning in a diverse community, 73 percent of students said they understand people of other racial and ethnic backgrounds better as a result of their college experience compared to 58 percent of their peers nationwide. Benefitting from a faith-based environment, 73 percent of senior students said they developed a personal code of values and ethics as a result of their college experience compared to 61 percent of their peers nationwide.

Seven hundred sixty-one colleges from across the country participated in the 2011 NSSE survey. Two hundred and one randomly selected respondents from the Women’s College, both first-year and senior students, completed the survey over a period of two months during the spring 2011 semester. Fifty two percent of Notre Dame students asked to respond to the survey completed it – one of the highest response rates in the country. Since 1990, Notre Dame has been using this survey as one of the important measures assessing its educational practices and benchmarking its performances with higher education counterparts. More information about NSSE may be found at www.nsse.iub.edu.

NOTRE DAME OF MARYLAND UNIVERSITY
Notre Dame of Maryland University, founded as a Catholic liberal arts college in 1895 by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, engages students as confident, capable learners and leaders, thriving in the vibrant, personal community of its distinguished Women’s College, College of Adult Undergraduate Studies and College of Graduate Studies. Rich in tradition, Notre Dame provides students with opportunities in research, study abroad and service to the global community. Notre Dame’s graduates change lives—in their careers, communities and families. Visit www.ndm.edu.