Students Give Canisius High Marks in National Survey

December 6, 2011


BUFFALO, NEW YORK – Canisius College earned high marks from its student body in the 2011 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). NSSE is the most comprehensive assessment of effective practices in higher education. Its annual survey asks college freshman and senior students to reflect on the time they devote to various learning activities. NSSE surveyed 370 randomly selected Canisius College students on five different benchmarks of excellence: academics, active learning, student-faculty interaction, enriching educational experiences and supportive campus environment. 

Canisius College emphasizes the importance of academic effort and has high expectations of student performance. This was supported by 92 percent of first-year students surveyed. These students also reported that the college placed a substantial emphasis on the ability to analyze basic elements of an idea or theory, apply theories or concepts, and to make judgments about the value of information. 

Canisius College scored well among students in the category of supportive campus environment. Ninety-three percent (93 %) of freshman students reported a favorable image of the college. Nearly the same percentage of freshman students felt that Canisius demonstrated a substantial commitment to their academic and social successes. Eighty-five percent (85 %) of seniors said they would choose Canisius College again, if they had to start their college career over. 

“Students perform better and are more satisfied when they feel their institution supports them academically and socially,” says Richard A. Wall, PhD, interim vice president for academic affairs. “Canisius College offers students a wide variety of curricular and co-curricular opportunities to make learning more useful and the university experience more meaningful to its students.” 

Canisius scored above average in several other categories. Nearly 90 percent of seniors indicated that they discussed career plans with faculty during their college tenure. Seventy-seven percent (77 %) participated in community service or volunteer work, by their senior years. 

Sponsored by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the NSSE’s annual survey provides diagnostic, comparative information about the prevalence of effective educational practices at participating colleges and universities. The results provide college and university faculty and leaders with guidance on where to invest time, effort and resources to improve student learning and other critical outcomes expected of higher education institutions. 

Canisius College is one of 28 Catholic, Jesuit colleges in the nation and the premier private college in Western New York. Canisius prepares leaders – intelligent, caring, faithful individuals – able to pursue and promote excellence in their professions, their communities and their service to humanity.