Mercer ranks in the top 10 percent of comparable U.S. universities in engaging undergraduate students in educational opportunities, such as challenging
coursework and interaction with faculty members, according to the results of a recent national study.
In the five benchmark categories used in the annual study conducted by the National Survey of Student Engagement, Mercer ranked in the top 10 percent nationwide in each area: level of academic challenge; active and collaborative learning; student-faculty interaction; enriching educational experiences; and supportive campus environment.
In one of the most impressive findings, almost two-thirds of Mercer students worked with their classmates on assignments outside of the classroom, compared to a little less than half of students at Mercer's peer institutions.
"We are already offering our undergraduates an outstanding experience in the classroom, and we can use the results of this study to go several steps farther," said Barry Jenkins, associate provost and director of University Assessment.
In another finding, 92 percent of the Mercer students who were assessed for the study described their college experience as either good or excellent, compared to 86 percent at the colleges and universities in Mercer's classification.
For the NSSE study Mercer was compared to more than 150 other Master's level institutions, which offer a diverse range of graduate and professional programs, but do not conduct significant research on the doctorate level. Freshmen and seniors at Mercer have participated in the NSSE study during the past three years.
The NSSE report also helps parents better understand how their children spend their time at the University, and what students feel they have gained from their educational experience.
More details on Mercer performance in the study can be found online at www.mercer.edu/oie/nsse.
In the 2004 NSSE study, about 163,000 students at 473 colleges and universities nationwide participated. Since the report's inception in 1999, more than 850 colleges and universities have participated. The NSSE is part of the Center for Postsecondary Research at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind.
Founded in 1833, Mercer University has campuses in Macon and Atlanta as well as three regional academic centers. With 10 schools and colleges, the University offers programs in liberal arts, business, engineering, education, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, law and theology. For 15 consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has named Mercer University as one of the leading universities in the South. Mercer University has also been named as "One of America's Best Bets in Higher Education" by Colleges of Distinction.