Carleton University’s commitment to putting students first was recognized in results from the 2011 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) that surveyed first-year and final-year students, including those from 20 universities across Ontario.
The results show that Carleton’s investment in student services, designed to offer a stimulating academic and extracurricular experience, is paying dividends.
Eighty-five per cent of first-year respondents and 82 per cent of final-year students rated their overall experience at Carleton as either good or excellent. Carleton’s results were higher than the Ontario average (excluding Carleton), which was at 81 per cent for first years and 77 per cent for students finishing their undergraduate degrees.
Overall satisfaction levels for Carleton were higher than the last NSSE survey in 2008. Between 2008 and 2011, there was an increase in “excellent” ratings by first-year Carleton respondents from 29 per cent to 34 per cent. There has also been a rise in the quality of relationships with faculty members and administrative personnel, as well as the number of first-year students reporting a supportive campus environment.
“Carleton University provides an extraordinary learning environment where our excellent faculty and students interact in small classes, lecture, tutorials, experiential learning opportunities and international exchanges,” said President Roseann O’Reilly Runte. “Our programs are truly interdisciplinary and students’ participation in brilliant research projects promises to change the world.”
Recognizing the importance of the undergraduate student experience, Carleton has in recent years focused on several key areas, including the introduction of a Co-curricular Record to recognize extracurricular activities, a Student Mental Health Framework to promote positive mental health and a mobile app that keeps student schedules and maps out their routes to class.
“The best student experience includes strong academics, valuable volunteer experience, enriching internships and co-op terms and engaging extra-curricular activities,’’ said Suzanne Blanchard, associate vice-president (Students and Enrolment). “We’re proud that students are increasingly pleased with the experience Carleton offers them.”
Carleton has also expanded opportunities for more undergraduate students to conduct research and added more courses offering hands-on experience in the working world.
“Increasing student engagement in critical and creative inquiry is a central component of our Academic Plan,” explains Carleton’s Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Peter Ricketts. “For undergraduate students, engagement in research, international study, experiential learning, and innovation can be transformational experiences that greatly increase their contributions to society throughout their lives.”
Other results from the 2011 NSSE survey include:
- When asked about the emphasis their institution placed on providing support to succeed academically, 76 per cent of first-year Carleton students said “very much” or “quite a bit,” compared with a provincial average (excluding Carleton) of 71 per cent.
- Asked about the quality of academic advising, 82 per cent of Carleton first-year students rated it “good” or “excellent,” compared with 75 per cent for the Ontario average (excluding Carleton).
- More Carleton students were likely to take advantage of learning on a diverse campus compared to the rest of the Ontario universities on average, with respondents more likely to report having serious conversations with students of a different race or ethnicity, different religious beliefs, political opinions or personal values.
A summary of the 2011 NSSE results is available at: www.carleton.ca/oirp/surveys.
About Carleton University:
Located in the nation’s capital, Carleton University is a dynamic research and teaching institution with a tradition of leading change. Its internationally recognized faculty, staff and researchers provide more than 25,000 full- and part-time students from every province and more than 100 countries around the world with academic opportunities in more than 65 programs of study, including public affairs, journalism, film studies, engineering, high technology, and international studies. Carleton’s creative, interdisciplinary and international approach to research has led to many significant discoveries and creative works in science and technology, business, governance, public policy and the arts. As an innovative institution Carleton is uniquely committed to developing solutions to real-world problems by pushing the boundaries of knowledge and understanding daily.
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