National Survey of Student Engagement

The National Survey of Student Engagement is a survey that tracks the educational efforts of college students. This includes tracking the amount of effort being put towards studying, and also the amount of effort being put towards other educational related activities.

The conceptual idea for the survey was initially presented in 1998, and the first official survey was launched in 1999. The first survey was funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, and its primary goal was to create an effective platform for collecting collegiate data.

The process of collecting information involves working with hundreds of four year colleges and universities. Through this partnership, the National Survey of Engagement team members are able to collect data on student participation levels, how students spend their time, and what they are learning from college. The colleges and universities that participate in the survey receive a summary report of student responses from other competing schools. This helps them identify common student traits, and also potential ways on how to improve their own student participation. This may mean increasing the number of on-campus student organizations or expanding specific degree programs

Another major goal of the survey is to determine if specific student behaviors impacts degree choices or educational goals. Some examples include serious minded students being more likely to choose a career in medicine or science, and extroverted students being more likely to choose a career in a creative field like public relations, marketing or advertising.

The survey also provides data on the percentage of men and women who earn specific degrees. For many years most male students majored in areas like accounting, banking and finance. While a large percentage of female students majored in fields like nursing and education. This trend has been changing significantly over the past several years. This year's survey has also revealed that more and more college students are majoring in technology related courses.


Over 300,000 students participated in this year's survey, and over 4 million students have participated in the survey since it was officially launched. Some of the staff positions that make up the survey team include senior associate director, research project associate, project manager, principal investigator and research analyst.

One of the reasons the National Survey of Student Engagement organization has been so successful in gathering data, is because of several key partnerships. Some of these partners include the Council of Independent Colleges, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Spencer Foundation, and the American Association for State Colleges and Universities.

To learn more about the National Survey of Student Engagement, go to

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