Published on December 19, 2022 by Jessica Black  
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Samford University continues to be a leader in high-impact education, according to data reported in the 2022 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). Overall, 99% of Samford graduates from the class of 2022 participated in at least one high-impact practice. Further, Samford senior students outpaced students from other private universities in the southeast as well as peer national doctoral/professional institutions in five out of six high-impact practice indicators.

The annual NSSE survey represents empirically confirmed practices in undergraduate education that reflect positive student learning outcomes. In addition to exploring student study habits, educational plans and experiences, time spent out of the classroom, and satisfaction with the campus, faculty and curriculum, the survey provides results on six high-impact practices that are positively associated with student learning, development and retention.

The six high-impact practices identified by NSSE include: completing a culminating senior experience, completing an internship or field experience, participating in service learning, participating in a learning community, participating in research with a faculty member and studying abroad.

High-Impact Practice (HIP) Indicators NSSE 2022 Samford University Private Institutions in the Southeast National Carnegie Peer Institutions Completed a Culminating Senior Experience 80% 49% 42% Completed an Internship or Field Experience 76% 50% 42% Participated in Service Learning 63% 66% 65% Participated in a Learning Community 35% 24% 21% Participated in Research with a Faculty Member 46% 24% 17% Participated in at Least One High-Impact Practice 99% 85% 82% Participated in Two or More High-Impact Practices 85% 62% 54% Studied Abroad 17% 12% 7% Private institutions in the Southeast include 96 private colleges and universities from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. The National Carnegie Peer Institutions include the 66 doctoral/professional universities in Samford’s Carnegie Classification.

According to NSSE, “these high-impact practices demand considerable time and effort, facilitate learning outside of the classroom, require meaningful interactions with faculty and students, encourage collaboration with diverse others and provide frequent and substantive feedback. As a result, participation in these practices can be life changing.”

“At Samford, our faculty and staff are committed to delivering rigorous academic programs in an environment that engages our students and provides impactful, experiential learning opportunities,” University Provost J. Michael Hardin said. “The results of the 2022 NSSE survey affirm the quality of our student experience and emphasis on student engagement.”

The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford No. 1 nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford No. 66 in the nation for best undergraduate teaching – placing Samford in the top 2% of all colleges and universities in the country and the only university in Alabama to make the list.

In November, Samford reported a 97% post-graduate career placement rate for the class of 2022, further demonstrating the impact of Samford’s commitment to the student experience and career preparedness.

NSSE has been in operation since 2000 and has been used at more than 1,600 colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada. In addition to the evaluation of high-impact practices, NSSE results serve as an essential data source for various levels of accreditation and academic program review. In commitment to continuous assessment and improvement of the undergraduate experience, Samford administers the survey to its students annually.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.