National Survey of Student Engagement

NSSE annually asks students, at hundreds of four-year colleges and universities, about how they spend their time and what they gain from attending college.  Towson University participates in this survey every two to three years, and this brief provides an overview of TU's participation and results.

The most recent administration ran between February 10, 2020 and May 22, 2020.  Despite the unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our survey was largely unaffected by the university's transition to remote learning, as more than 99% of responses were received prior to March 13th.

The table below provides an overview of 2020 NSSE administration (before report sample adjustments*).

*Institutions had the option to flag a subset of students for exclusion from reports, but all sample members were invited to complete the survey.

  Total First-Year Senior
Survey Sample 7,629 3,612 4,017
Respondent Count 1,861 969 892
Respondent Rate 24% 27% 22%


The following reports are produced by the NSSE team and are available to TU faculty and staff at this link. Please email us at if you wish to access them.

Administration Summary

Engagement Indicators

Frequencies and Statistical Comparisons

High-Impact Practices

Major Field Reports

Multi-Year Report

Pocket Guide Report

Respondent Profile

Selected Comparison Groups


Topical Module: First-Year Experiences and Senior Transitions

In order to familiarize yourself with the NSSE results, please consider this interactive visualization that was prepared by TU’s Office of Institutional Research.

NSSE 2020 (Tableau Viz)

NSSE multi-year summary  (PDF)                                                                              (Participation Years: 2014, 2017, and 2020)

NSSE Accreditation Toolkit (PDF)

This document offers guidelines for aligning the NSSE items with regional accreditation standards. 

Mapping NSSE items to MSCHE standards (Tableau Viz)