Genesee Community College Places High in Nationwide Survey, Board Hears

Genesee Community College receives high student ratings on key academic strengths, according to results of the most recent Community College Survey of Student Engagement, Associate Dean of Institutional Research and Assessment Carol Marriott reported to the Board of Trustees Monday evening.

The Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSEE) is a standardized 122-question survey that measures student involvement and perceptions about their colleges. It is administered to community college students across the nation, and colleges use the results to identify ways to increase student engagement and academic commitment. Genesee administered the CCSSEE in 2005, 2007, and 2009, and recently received the results of the 2009 survey, Dean Marriott said.

In 2009, a scientifically selected sample of 819 full-time Genesee students completed the CCSSEE. More than 400,000 students nationwide completed the instrument last year.

Students at Genesee rank their college more highly on instruction in communication, critical thinking, numerical problems, and computing technology than their peers rank other mid-sized SUNY community colleges. Among the findings, Genesee students said that the College contributes “quite a bit” or “very much” – the survey’s highest rankings – on critical academic measures:

  • Writing Clearly and Effectively: 62% of Genesee students ranked the College with the two highest scores, compared to a 59% ranking at peer institutions.
  •  Speaking Clearly and Effectively: 55% of Genesee students ranked the College with the two highest scores, compared to a 52% ranking at peer institutions.
  •  Thinking Critically and Analytically: 68% of Genesee students ranked the College with the two highest scores, equivalent to 68% at peer institutions.
  • Using Computing and Information Technology: 66% of Genesee students ranked the College with the two highest scores, compared to a 56% ranking at peer institutions.

The survey also pointed out that many Genesee students have outside responsibilities in addition to their education. Sixty-six percent of students work, and almost half of those students work more than twenty hours a week. Forty-seven percent of Genesee students care for dependents.

Educational researchers have found that “student engagement” is often the critical ingredient in student success, Dean Marriott said. “Engagement” can include involvement in out-of-class academic activities, student clubs, building strong relationships with other students and faculty, or pursuing special projects on campus. “Many factors can influence success, but if we can do one thing to help students succeed in their studies, graduate, and find meaningful employment, it’s to build engagement and involvement,” she said.

Faculty and staff members will review CSSEE results in the months ahead, Dean Marriott told trustees.
 

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