Institutional Surveys

Institutional surveys support planning efforts by describing what motivates respondents, what is important to them and what respondents think of our efforts. Satisfaction, service levels and opportunities for improvement are common areas where institutional surveys can generate discussion, help us base decisions on objective information and compare results across time or peers.

As part of VCU’s commitment to continuous improvement, IRDS administers and analyzes several institutional surveys. These surveys provide insight into employee and student satisfaction and engagement. Results can be used by faculty and administrators for recruiting, setting priorities, planning, and demonstrating effectiveness.

National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) assesses the amount of time and effort first-year students and seniors spend on academic and extracurricular activities, as well as the degree to which institutions emphasize and encourage students to participate in activities that are considered important to their learning and development. Every three years (the typical cycle, nationally, for the survey), the NSSE is administered in the spring to first-year students and seniors. VCU uses the results of this survey to estimate how undergraduates spend their time and what they gain from attending college.

  • Population: First-year students and seniors
  • Frequency: Every 3 years since 2011 (annually before 2011)
  • More Info: NSSE’s website contains a variety of resources related to utilizing NSSE data, as well as information about the history and development of the survey.
YearSnapshotPocket GuidesEngagement IndicatorsSurvey QuestionsExecutive SummaryInfographics
2020  NSSE 2020 Snapshot NSSE 2020 Pocket Guide Report    NSSE 2020 Main Survey Questions    NSSE 2020 Infographic 
2017  NSSE 2017 Snapshot  NSSE 2017 Pocket Guide Report  NSSE 2017 Engagement Indicators    NSSE 2017 Executive Summary   NSSE 2017 Infographic  
2014   NSSE 2014 Snapshot  NSSE 2014 Pocket Guide Report  NSSE 2014 Engagement Indicators  NSSE 2014 Survey  NSSE 2014 Executive Summary  
2011        NSSE 2011 Survey  NSSE 2011 Executive Snapshot   
2010        NSSE 2010 Survey  NSSE 2010 Executive Snapshot   

For assistance accessing information related to our programs, please contact the Office of Institutional Research and Decision Support at