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NSSE 2006 - Diversity Related Items

There are six diversity-related items on the 2006 NSSE. Five of these were also on NSSE when CU-Boulder previously participated, in 2002. A new item, concerning trying to better understand someone else's view by imagining things from his or her perspective, was added to NSSE in 2005.

CU-Boulder freshman and senior means on five of the diversity-related items are shown in a separate table.1 The table also shows means of the 2006 AAU peer group on each item. Note that AAU peer group comparisons for 2002 are not shown. The reason for this is that the peer groups differ considerably in their composition; only one AAU public institution, other than CU-Boulder, administered NSSE in both 2002 and 2006. A blue line connecting two means in the table indicates that there is a noticeable difference between them. We have used effect sizes to determine whether a difference is noticeable.

The results in the table illustrate several points:

  • From 2002 to 2006, there has been essentially no change in 1) how often CU-Boulder freshmen included diverse perspectives in class discussions or writing assignments, 2) how often they had serious conversations with students of a different race or ethnicity other than their own, and 3) the extent to which their experience at CU-Boulder contributed to their knowledge, skills, and personal development in understanding people of other racial and ethnic backgrounds.
  • There has been a small-to-medium increase over time in freshman students' perspectives of the extent to which CU-Boulder emphasizes encouraging contact among students from different economic, social, and racial or ethnic backgrounds (mean = 2.12 in 2002 vs. 2.50 in 2006; effect size = .39).
  • The mean responses of CU-Boulder freshmen on the diversity-related items differ only slightly from those of AAU peers in 2006.
  • The results for CU-Boulder seniors are similar to those of freshmen, in that seniors' average responses to the diversity-related items are essentially unchanged from 2002 to 2006.
  • CU-Boulder's seniors' 2006 mean responses are noticeably below those of AAU peers on two of the five items: the extent to which CU-Boulder emphasizes encouraging contact among students from different economic, social, and racial or ethnic backgrounds (1.96 vs. 2.30; effect size = .36); and the extent to which their experience at CU-Boulder has contributed to their knowledge, skills, and personal development in understanding people of other racial and ethnic backgrounds (2.25 vs. 2.51; effect size = .26). Note that the effect size for this latter item is quite small, indicating that the difference between means is barely noticeable.

1Note that the CU-Boulder diversity scale contains six diversity-related items, rather than five, and includes an item about conversing with others with different religious beliefs, political opinions, or personal values.

Last revision 07/19/07


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