The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) is distributed to hundreds of colleges and universities across the United States to measure students' participation in activities that institutions provide for their learning and personal development. NSSE uses the results of the surveys to help institutions "identify aspects of the undergraduate experience inside and outside the classroom that can be improved through changes in policies and practices more consistent with good practices in undergraduate education." Read more about NSSE on its website.

At Bellarmine

Bellarmine has conducted the NSSE on its campus several times, most recently during the Spring 2015 semester. More than 50% of first-year students at Bellarmine completed the survey. The results revealed that first-year students at Bellarmine, compared to students at BU's peer institutions, were much more likely to have courses that emphasized applying theories or concepts to new situations. The results also highlighted the frequently with which students were expected to work with other students on projects during class. A significantly higher percentage of Bellarmine first-year students also responded that the institution provides substantial support for academic success, substantially helps students cope with non-academic matters, and provides substantial support for students' social needs.

Fifty-three percent of seniors at Bellarmine responded to the survey. Also compared to Bellarmine's selected peers, Bellarmine seniors were more likely to have written more than four papers or reports between 5-19 pages, made a class presentation, and talked about career plans with a faculty member or advisor. A significantly higher percentage also responded that Bellarmine emphasizes studying and academic work and provides substantial support for academic success compared to BU's peer institutions.