Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Are You Ready to Do NSSE?

First things, first, what is NSSE?

NSSE—pronounced “Nessie”—is the National Survey of Student Engagement.

The U of A is one of 72 Canadian universities taking part this year between February 9 to March 31, 2017.

Completing NSSE is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

What’s the purpose of NSSE?

To put it bluntly, the purpose is to measure the quality of your student experience. Questions will provide you with a chance to honestly report on your study needs, classroom experience, co-curricular activities, and more.

Can I fill out NSSE?

If you’re in your first or final year of study, you bet!

How long will it take to fill out the survey?

Approximately 20 minutes.

Does NSSE happen every year?

Nope. The University of Alberta only participates in NSSE once every three years.  This year, students will receive email invitations from President Turpin to participate starting on Feb 9. Four reminders will be sent periodically until March 31. Once a student participates, they will receive no further NSSE emails.

Okay, seriously, do I have to do NSEE? Does it matter?

Of course it matters! Although the survey isn’t mandatory, your input does make a difference. Also, taking the survey will keep the reminder emails from being sent your way.

What are the results used for?

Maybe not “all the things,” but definitely these things:

  • NSSE’s high level performance indicators—such as overall student satisfaction—are reported in and benchmarked against our peer institutions in the university’s two main provincial government accountability documents: the Comprehensive Institutional Plan and the Annual Report. 

  • NSSE data is used by faculties and units across the U of A to help develop and assess the quality and impact of current and new academic and co-curricular programs.  

  • NSSE helps answer questions about the success and impact of experiential learning opportunities. For example, do students have a more engaged learning experience if they study abroad or take a Community Service-Learning course? 

  • NSSE data enables the university to make evidenced-based decisions about all kinds of student services, such as writing supports, mental health services, residence life, etc.

What has NSSE’s impact been on the U of A so far?

NSEE Outcomes have allowed for the development of the Co-curricular Record, increases in support for student mental health, the launch of Base Camp and the Day of Service, and the expansion of experiential learning opportunities, like Community Service-Learning, the Undergraduate Research Initiative, and increases in internships, coops, and study abroad. And more!

Who can see the results?

The University of Alberta shares the institutional level NSSE reports on its website.

Please note that publicly shared data is always done in aggregate; no individual person’s responses are available to the public.

Anything else to know?

One last thing - If you complete the survey, you'll be entered in a draw for 1 of 2 iPads and 1 of 25 iTunes cards.



  1. Where is the link to complete the NSSE? Thanks!

    1. You should receive the link, along with an access/login code in your inbox. The message will appear from "Dr. David H. Turpin " and will direct you to a site at Best of luck!


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