Waynesburg University’s graduate career path analysis report and National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) results indicate an institutional commitment to a high level of faculty and student interaction.
Through its student survey, The College Student Report, NSSE annually collects information at hundreds of four-year colleges and universities about student participation in programs and activities that institutions provide for their learning and personal development. Results outlined in Waynesburg University’s NSSE report indicate a campus culture in which faculty place high importance on providing mentorship and interacting with students one-on-one.
According to NSSE, survey items on The College Student Report represent empirically confirmed "good practices" in undergraduate education. That is, they reflect behaviors by students and institutions that are associated with desired outcomes of college, one of which is a high career path rate, which measures the amount of graduates on the career path they set for themselves.
Waynesburg University’s career path rate, which states that 96 percent of 2012 graduates reported working full-time or attending graduate school within one year of graduation, is reflective of a 77 percent response rate and is, in part, a result of practices outlined in the NSSE report.
NSSE provides participating institutions with reports that compare their students' responses with those of students at self-selected groups of comparison institutions. Waynesburg University’s NSSE report indicates that, in comparison to other Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) schools:
- 28 percent more Waynesburg University students talked about career plans with a faculty member
- 20 percent more Waynesburg University students discussed their academic performance with a faculty member
- 17 percent more Waynesburg University students worked with a faculty member on activities other than coursework
- 15 percent more Waynesburg University students participated in a learning community or some other formal program
- 23 percent more Waynesburg University courses have included a community-based project (service learning)
“At Waynesburg, our students are our priority,” said Dr. Jacquelyn Core, Waynesburg University provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Every decision we make takes into account our Christian mission and tradition. We are constantly asking, ‘how can we best serve our students?’”
Core, who joined the University in May, led efforts to expand the University’s mentoring program to provide weekly, one-on-one support for students who qualify. Through the program, mentors coach the students in building needed skill areas and maintain regular contact with students’ professors to determine strengths, weaknesses and recommendations. Mentors consist of university faculty and staff members who have volunteered to be a part of the program, including the president of the University and other senior staff members.
With a 13 to 1 faculty to student ratio, faculty members routinely spend quality time with students of all academic standings, both in and outside of the classroom. One faculty member reported that he spends more than 375 hours of face time with a student over a four-year span.
Additionally, in accordance with the University’s Christian mission of inspiring and challenging every undergraduate and graduate student to a life of leadership and purpose for the glory of God, students have numerous opportunities to serve in capacities related to their specific majors, both locally and internationally. The University offered 17 mission service trips during the 2013-14 academic year, covering a variety of academic and professional interests, and contributes 50,000 hours of service each year.
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