ODA Home > Institutional Research > Surveys > NSSE 2006 > Introduction

National Survey of Student Engagement 2006

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This page provides an introduction to the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), along with links to the results of this survey. In 2000, 2002, and 2006, the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU-Boulder) participated in national administrations of the NSSE, which is designed to provide data that colleges and universities can use to improve undergraduate education. The NSSE gathers information from freshmen and seniors about college experiences, skills acquired during college, and students' academic and non-academic activities. NSSE urges prospective students to inquire about these topics on college visits and provides a "pocket guide" for this purposeavailable through school counselors, college admissions offices, educational organizations, and on the NSSE Web site.

The NSSE was launched in the spring of 2000 with support from The Pew Charitable Trusts and is currently self-supported through institutional participation fees. Project research is also supported by grants from Lumina Foundation for Education and the Center for Inquiry in the Liberal Arts at Wabash College. More than 550 colleges and universities participated in the NSSE in 2006.

This survey is administered by a team at Indiana University. It is administered in both web and paper formats with identical questions. Participating institutions may choose web-only, paper-only, or web-plus-paper formats. CU-Boulder chose to use web-only in all three years. In addition, CU-Boulder participated in the Association of American Universities Data Exchange consortium, which administered 20 optional questions to students as part of NSSE.

Table 1 shows the numbers of CU-Boulder freshmen and seniors who responded to the survey, by year:

Table 1
Survey Respondents, by Class Level and Year

Class level

















CU-Boulder's 2006 response rate (39%) was somewhat higher than that of other AAU public institutions (generally 34%). Although the response rate for CU-Boulder was similar in 2000 (40%) to that in 2006, it was somewhat lower (34%) in 2002. It is possible that the 2002 response rate was adversely affected by circumstances of the administration process. In 2002 CU-Boulder's spring break occurred between two important events: the invitation to participate in NSSE and the receipt of the survey instrument. It is possible that some students were less motivated to participate in the survey after returning from spring break. For additional information about response rates and about how students were selected to participate, please see Method.


Click here for highlights of results

CU-Boulder administered the NSSE in spring 2006 as part of our regular survey cycle; the representative sample of 2000 freshmen and 2000 seniors was drawn by NSSE. In 2006 eight other AAU schools administered the NSSE and the set of 20 AAU optional questions: Arizona, Indiana, Iowa State, Michigan, Missouri, Oregon, Pittsburgh, and Wisconsin.  NSSE has provided campus-specific results for CU-Boulder and results of analyses that compare CU-Boulder to these eight other AAU schools combined. These preliminary descriptive findings are posted here, as PDF files, with minimal interpretation:


Results of additional analyses of NSSE data, carried out here at CU-Boulder, are also posted:

 Please note that you can also access most of these results via the sidebar to the left.

Last revision 05/02/16

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