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College surveys students about campus life, participation

The college is one of 774 institutions of higher learning participating in a nationwide survey gathering information about the role activities and programs play in the learning and personal development of undergraduate students.

Beginning the year, the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) will be conducted at the college every three years.

A random sampling of 600 first-year and 600 senior students from New Paltz was selected to complete the survey. Jacqueline Andrews, assistant vice president of institutional research and planning, said the 1,200 New Paltz students are among 1.4 million students participating in the survey this year. The data gained will be used as an assessment tool to gauge how undergraduate students spend their time and what they gain from attending college, according to Andrews.

"We can learn a lot about our institution from this survey," said Andrews. "The data will help us in our continuing efforts to improve."

The NSSE has a national response rate of 30 percent and Andrews said she would like to see New Paltz have that range of participation as well. Andrews said the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research (IUCPR), the organization administering the survey, will match the responses to the overall demographics of the school.

The Office of Institutional Research and the Office of Student Development developed an incentive program to encourage participation. Those who complete and turn in the survey will be entered into a drawing for three Hawk Dollars gift certificates of $200, $100 and $50.

The college's participation in the survey was mandated by the State University of New York to serve as a companion to the Student Opinion Survey (SOS), which the college has participated in for many years.

Surveys were sent out in February. The submission deadline is May 1, 2008.

For more information, contact the Office of Institutional Research and Planning at x3227.