In Their Own Words: Understanding the Undergraduate Student Experience at the University of Toronto (July, 2010)
Significant gains in enhancing the student experience have been achieved over the six-years of the Stepping Up Academic plan – with many new initiatives having been launched across the three campuses. In spite of our successes, however, results of recent surveys – including the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and the Globe and Mail Campus Survey – indicate that we continue to lag behind our peer institutions with regard to co--curricular student engagement, creating a supportive campus environment, and student satisfaction with the overall experience.
Although these survey results identify areas of concern related to the student experience at the University of Toronto, they do not offer explanations of the underlying causes. Recognizing the need for a deeper understanding of some of the priority issues highlighted in these surveys and the ways in which the University could respond, in February 2010, Vice--Provost, Students Jill Matus initiated a tri--campus, qualitative assessment project to drill down into some areas of the undergraduate student experience that seemed to warrant further exploration.