The Best of Our Knowledge # 817

The National Survey of Student Engagement puts out its questionnaire
each year to determine how effectively colleges and universities are
contributing to learning. The five key areas of education performance
that are measured include: level of academic challenge; active and
collaborative learning; student-faculty interaction: enriching educational experiences; and supportive campus environment. Among the findings
we learned out about last week were: the swirl pattern where as many
as half of today's undergraduate students attend several colleges,
taking multiple courses, sometimes simultaneously; and we also
talked about high risk students...those that are less academically
prepared, students of color, and first generation students.
This week, we learn the report also features results from the first
administration of the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement.
Responses from faculty shed light on faculty roles, uses of time,
and educational practices. A provocative finding is that faculty
members and students typically report divergent perceptions of
student experiences in their universities. TBOOK spoke with the
two leaders of all these respective studies. Dr. George Kuh is
Director of the National Survey of Student Engagement. Dr. Kuh
is the Chancellor's Professor of Higher Education at Indiana University
in Bloomington. And we also talked with Dr. Kay McClenney, Director
of the Community College Survey of Student Engagement. Dr.
McClenney is a Professor in the Community College Leadership
Program at the University of Texas at Austin.
Glenn Busby reports. (14:24)

**(Attention Program Directors. If listeners would like to read more
about all of the surveys, go to these following two websites: and**

Last week, Dr. Karen Hitchcock, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of
Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario spoke about how nearly
three-dozen universities in Canada are participating this year in the
U.S. based National Survey of Student Engagement. This week,
we learn that a Guide to Canadian Universities , published by
Maclean's in Canada, which also surveys schools, is being rejected
by many of the universities for fear their ranking system will not be
accurate. Some university presidents are saying they do not favor
Maclean's survey methodology or sample size.
Dr. Karen Hitchcock and Glenn Busby report. (3:30)


* An Associated Press news service investigation has uncovered a major loophole in No Child Left Behind scoring. The AP study found that states
have set wildly different minimum standards for how many children must
be counted, allowing schools to exclude nearly 2-million students scores
in required racial categories. Education Secretary, Margaret Spellings,
told the AP When children are not part of the accountability system,
then that's a problem.

* Speaking of NCLB, the Maryland State Dept. Of Education planned to
take over four failing Baltimore High Schools and transfer seven other
failing middle schools to outside managers. That attempt has now been
blocked by the Maryland Legislature. Their success at keeping those low-performing schools under local control, could raise the prospect of political resistance in other states that might attempt such similar interventions.

* In our update segment, the first lawsuit has indeed been filed against the College Board and its contractor, Pearson Educational Measurement, over scoring errors that affected more than 44-hundred students who took the
SAT test.

* The number of Chinese students granted U.S. visas rose last year by
25%, to 20,244. This represents the first return to pre-2001 levels
before the September 11 terrorist attacks.

* Meanwhile, British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has announced the second phase of an earlier successful recruitment drive. Blair now plans to bring in another 100-thousand international students to the UK by 2011.

* You may remember our story at the start of this year with Kevin Wildes, President of Loyola University in New Orleans. He told TBOOK they
would consider down sizing to help save money lost as a result of
Hurricane Katrina. Well, they have announced that Loyola will lay off a
number of instructors, eliminate some departments, and get rid of some programs in an effort to head off a 10-million dollar deficit.

* Some good news for new college graduates this Spring. According to a
report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 14% more graduates are expected to be hired this year, than last year.
Dr. Karen Hitchcock reports. (2:04)