Cedarville Earns "E" for "Excellent"

by Sharyn Kopf — Marketing

The 2009 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) — a well-researched and nationally recognized study — has once again given Cedarville University an exceptional report card. In fact, of the 670 Cedarville students surveyed, 96 percent described their educational experience as “good” or “excellent.” The NSSE findings confirm the University’s latest results from the Noel Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory, which gave the University numerous first-place rankings.

Each year, information from first-year and senior students about the nature and quality of their undergraduate experience is collected by the NSSE. In 2009, over 350,000 students from 640 institutions in the United States and Canada responded. Representing Cedarville were 382 first-year students and 288 seniors.

According to Dave Ormsbee, associate vice president for strategic planning and research at Cedarville, this is a study people should pay attention to. “A school can be highly rated yet the students don’t thinks it’s a great school. That’s significant. This study gives first-year students and seniors a chance to tell us what they think.”

Fortunately, Cedarville discovered that what their students think is positive across the board. Besides the majority of students who approve of their educational experience, nearly 70 percent indicated they would definitely choose Cedarville again and 25 percent said they probably would. In comparing the 2009 results with the results of 2004, the University showed improvement in every area.

NSSE created five benchmarks of effective educational practice in an attempt to focus discussions about the importance of student engagement and to guide institutional improvement efforts. Those five benchmarks are: level of academic challenge, active and collaborative learning, student-faculty interaction, enriching educational experiences, and supportive campus environment.

In one area, Cedarville continually lands in the top 10 percent. “We’re one of the best schools in the United States in the benchmark of a supportive campus environment,” Ormsbee said. “Students know we care about their success and they have access to the tools they need to reach their educational and career goals.”

The study also reinforced the importance of Cedarville’s continued efforts to improve active and collaborative learning opportunities. In addition, the University intends to continue developing faculty and student interaction.

Overall, the NSSE study proves that Cedarville University remains one of the top schools in the country, providing the kind of academic and personal environment today’s students require.

“If you’re looking for a school where 500 faculty and staff members are advocates for your success,” Ormsbee said, “then Cedarville’s the place.”