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National Benchmarking Surveys

Conducting surveys provides Western Illinois University an opportunity to obtain input on a variety of issues. This input is a valuable tool in providing information to facilitate decision making in conjunction with Western's commitment to continuous improvement.

This website provides an introdution to each of the national benchmarking surveys in which Western participates, with each introdcution also provide links to survey results.

Making Achievement Possible (MAP-Works)

MAP-Works is an assessment system that enhances a student’s ability to make a successful transition to college. MAP-Works enables student success by providing customized, relevant information to students and by alerting faculty/staff so that they can initiate proactive intervention to reduce a student’s risk of failure and to help students get the most out of their college experience. In Fall 2007, Western Illinois University was one of nine colleges to pilot the online version, MAP-Works. Fall 2008 saw MAP-Works advance to a full-scale national benchmarking instrument, with Western again participating. Fall 2009 brought significant enhancements to the MAP-Works program, and included the ability to compare results with prior years, as well as establish peer comparison groups, a move made possible by the continued nationwide growth and acceptance of MAP-Works as an effective student success tool

National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE, "Nessie")

The NSSE measures the actual experiences students report regarding their academic and personal development. With Western's commitment to the core values of Academic Excellence, Educational Opportunity, Personal Growth, and Social Responsibility, the NSSE provides an excellent benchmarking tool to measure progress in achieving our strategic planning goals. Western Illinois University first became involved with the NSSE in Spring 2005, piloting the effort with a sample of freshmen and senior students. Beginning in Spring 2006, Western has committed to annual NSSE participation and expanded its reach to include all freshmen and senior students.

Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE, "Fessie")

A companion to the NSSE, the FSSE measures how engaged faculty think their students are in their academic and personal development. A key factor is where there are "gaps" between what faculty perceive and what students report, providing an opportunity for improvement to narrow the gap. Western Illinois University first participated in Spring 2007, and has established an alternate-year participation schedule. Thus, Western participated in the FSSE during Spring 2009, and will again in Spring 2011.

Discontinued National Survey Initiatives Archive

As Western continues to evaluate its efforts in meeting its Higher Values in Higher Education goals, some initiatives have been discontinued in favor of more appropriate methods. However, results from these former initiatives are available from our survey archives.

Beginning College Survey of Student Engagement (BCSSE, "Bessie")
A companion to the NSSE, the BCSSE is designed to measure the expectations of new college freshmen. BCSSE results can then be compared with their later freshmen NSSE responses to assess how well student expectations were realized, providing an important yardstick to help ensure that students are not only prepared for the academic and personal experiences they will encounter in college, but also that these expectations are effectively met.measures how engaged faculty think their students are in their academic and personal development. WIU used the BCSSE in Fall 2005, Summer 2006, and Summer 2007.