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University Level Assessment


Eastern Kentucky University uses the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and the Collegiate Assessment of Acadmic Proficiency (CAAP) as indicators of student engagement and learning.


The National Survey of Student Engagement or NSSE was designed to assess the extent to which students are engaged in empirically derived good educational practices and what they gain from their college experiences. In this it differs from many other surveys that are more oriented to student satisfaction than to specific educational outcomes. The NSSE is administered to a sample of second semester freshman and exiting seniors.

Use of NSSE results at EKU

At Eastern Kentucky University NSSE data are integral to a number of planning and reporting processes. 

  • Within our university-level strategic planning process, NSSE data are used to examine the pursuit of collaborative research endeavors.
  • Within our recently completed re-accreditation process for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, NSSE data constituted a vital portion of the assessment of EKU’s proposed Quality Enhancement Plan which focuses upon critical and creative thinking.
  • Within required reporting to the Kentucky Council for Post-Secondary Education, NSSE data are used to examine student engagement levels on a number of fronts, such as preparation for life and work in Kentucky, engagement in the undergraduate learning experience and civic participation.

The EKU Retention and Graduation Task Force used NSSE data to recommend:

  •  creation of a new campus-wide early alert system
  • creation of a strong, centralized mentoring program that has a more persistent style of mentoring for students identified as being at risk
  • enhancement of availability of financial aid/scholarships for underserved students – non-traditional undergraduates, upper-division students, Transfers, etc.

NSSE at EKU over the years

NSSE 2016

NSSE 2015


NSSE 2014


 NSSE 2013

There has been some notable changes to the 2013 NSSE.  It has develop four main areas in which they assess student engagement; Academic Challenge, Learning with Peers, Experiences with Faculty and Campus Environment.  They have now also include information about High-Impact Practices (HIPs) and overall student rating of the university.

NSSE 2012

NSSE 2011

NSSE 2009

NSSE 2008

NSSE 2007


EKU tests freshmen and seniors with the Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency (CAAP) critical thinking and essay writing modules.  The critical thinking portion of the CAAP is designed to measure students' skills in clarifying, analyzing, evaluating, and extending arguments.  The essay writing portion of the CAAP consists of two questions each in the form of a prompt describing an issue or hypothetical situation which are designed to measure students’ skills in formulating assertions, supporting assertions with appropriate evidence, organizing and connecting major ideas, and expressing ideas in clear, effective language.

CAAP Results Over the Years


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