Franklin Pierce University Students Primed for Workplace Engagement

May 16, 2014

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Franklin Pierce University graduates appear to be primed for workplace engagement according to the results of an analysis that compared Franklin Pierce students to a recent Gallup study of 30,000 college students nationwide. The Gallup study found that students who had an internship or job related to their field, worked on a semester-long project, developed a meaningful relationship with a faculty member, or felt that professors cared about them as people were more likely to be engaged in their jobs after graduation. Gallup defined workplace engagement as “being intellectually and emotionally connected with their organizations and work teams because they are able to do what they’re best at, they like what they do at work, and they have someone who cares about their development at work.”

Franklin Pierce University measures student engagement using the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) every three years. Most recently, NSSE was administered to freshmen and seniors on the Rindge campus in the spring of 2013 and achieved a Franklin Pierce record-best 79% response rate (the national best was 80%). The NSSE survey results were analyzed by Franklin Pierce’s Office of Institutional Research against the recent study done by Gallup.

According to Gallup, the odds of being engaged at work are two times higher for students who had a job or internship that allowed them to apply what they were learning in the classroom. On the NSSE, 69% of Franklin Pierce seniors indicated that they had done an internship or field experience, which was statistically higher than seniors at other institutions of similar size and makeup nationwide (55%), and all seniors who took the NSSE nationwide (48%).

Gallup also found that students who completed a semester-long project were 1.8 times more likely to be engaged at work. NSSE contains two questions related to working on a semester-long project; the first addresses research with faculty, and the second addresses a culminating senior experience (capstone project, portfolio, etc.). Thirty-eight percent of Franklin Pierce seniors did research with faculty, which was significantly more than seniors at similar institutions (28%), and all seniors nationwide (23%).  Seventy-one percent of Franklin Pierce seniors participated in a culminating senior experience, which is significantly more than students at similar institutions (56%), and all seniors who took the NSSE (45%).

Students who felt like their professors cared about them as people and got them excited about learning were also two times as likely to be engaged in their work later on, according to the Gallup study. NSSE measures this using an indicator called Student-Faculty Interaction, which is defined as “how often students had meaningful, substantive interactions with faculty members.” Franklin Pierce seniors had a significantly higher average Student-Faculty Interaction Composite Indicator (31.3) than seniors at similar institutions (26.7), and all NSSE seniors (23.2).

Overall, given the results from the Spring 2013 NSSE, and its connection to recent national research, students from Franklin Piece University are well positioned to enter the workplace as engaged, connected workers. 

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