St. Kate’s experience praised by first-year students, seniors
First-year students and seniors at the College of St. Catherine report that their college experience is academically challenging and personally enriching, according to the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) results, published in the fall of 2007.
Those two key indicators “better prepare students for a productive, satisfying lifetime of continuous learning,” said George Kuh, NSSE director and Indiana University–Bloomington professor of higher education.
The National Survey of Student Engagement provides comparative standards for determining how effectively colleges contribute to student learning. The annual survey assesses the extent to which specific educational practices such as service learning, research with faculty and study abroad opportunities enhance students’ educational success.
More than 313,000 students at 610 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada participate in the study.
St. Kate’s ranked higher than women’s colleges and all colleges surveyed in the ways it challenges students with coursework that requires them to apply theories and concepts to practical problems or new situations.
The college also received high marks from students in its emphasis on academic, service-based and practical experiences outside the classroom.
First-year students praised St. Kate’s for encouraging students to interact with diverse peers. Seventy-two percent gave it high marks, compared with 64 percent at women’s colleges and 54 percent at all colleges.
In addition, 62 percent of first-year Katies said they read more than 10 assigned books or book-length packs of readings compared with 33 percent of all students and 48 percent of students at women’s colleges.
Compared with other women’s colleges and the survey group as a whole, more seniors at St. Kate’s collaborated with other students on classroom assignments, had a study abroad experience and participated in practicums, internships, field experiences and clinical assignments, the survey said.
“I tell students and their parents that our faculty members are going to get to know you and challenge you. Maybe more than you think you’re capable of. But you can also count on them to support you in meeting those challenges,” said Colleen Hegranes, senior vice president of the college.
“Choosing a college is not about name recognition but whether the institution can give you an excellent education in your field. At St. Kate’s students receive a sound liberal arts base, and employers tell us that’s what is so valuable about our graduates.”
By Julie Michener
June 18, 2008
Contact Julie Michener, (651) 690-6521