Student engagement measures have been shown to be excellent predictors of desirable educational outcomes, and in some cases, these measures are being used as a means of institutional accountability. The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) is one of the most widely used measures of student engagement. In this study, I examine the relationship between NSSE subscale scores and measures of student academic success. I also examine the extent to which pre-college ability and ethnicity moderate the relationship between engagement scores and academic outcomes. Results indicate that the benchmark academic challenge was a significant predictor of freshmen GPA and the benchmark supportive campus environment was a significant predictor of senior GPA. For the outcome of freshmen retention, both supportive campus environment and active and collaborative learning were significant predictors. Pre-college ability was not a significant moderator of the engagement GPA relationship nor was ethnicity a significant moderator of freshmen retention.


Daniel Sachau

First Committee Member

Kristie Campana

Second Committee Member

Kathleen Dale

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)




Social and Behavioral Sciences

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



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