National student survey ranks Briercrest as a top school in Canada

Posted: February 25, 2014

A national survey shows that Briercrest College and Seminary continues to be one of Canada’s top schools.

Maclean’s magazine commissioned a National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and 20,795 first and senior year students were surveyed about their educational experience. 

“It is our aim to be a place where student imagination is ignited and where both competence and character are prized and nurtured,” Wes Olmstead, VP academic, said.

“Since we know that none of this happens without meaningful student engagement, we take courage from these important indicators even as we work hard to strengthen every part of our students’ experience at Briercrest.” 

The survey measured student engagement in their schools and looked at best education practices that were measured by indications like effective teaching and a supportive environment, and high-impact practices such as service learning and study abroad.

Briercrest placed third when their first-year students were asked to evaluate their entire educational experience, and placed second when the same students were asked if they could start over would they still choose to attend their current educational institution.

“I was very pleased with the experiences that our freshmen students are having here at Briercrest and feel it is a reflection of the devotion and commitment that our faculty and staff have to providing for our students,” Michael Pawelke, Briercrest president, explained.

 When senior students were asked to evaluate their entire education experience, Briercrest placed seventh and when asked if they would still attend their educational institution if they could do it over again, Briercrest placed ninth.

While dropping slightly in the standings with senior students, Pawelke said it is not necessarily a negative thing.

“I don’t believe the survey results for our graduating students are a drastically negative thing. While it does give us a goal to improve, it also suggests that when students are finished their program, an educational fatigue may have settled in,” he explained.

“I think if those same questions were asked three years after graduation they might have resulted in a more positive response as this educational fatigue would have worn off.”

 The survey results show that students are satisfied with the educational experience they are receiving while attending Briercrest.

“If you look at the mean average we are still well ahead of that so it’s good, but we are going to keep striving. We certainly have a goal before us to keep improving and become all we can be as an educational institution,” Pawelke said.

“My hope would be that our graduating students would leave feeling the same commitment and appreciation for Briercrest they had when they were a first year student.”

Pawelke said while the results are positive and show that Briercrest continues to be a place where students want to be, he also wants to ensure that Briercrest avoids complacency.

 “While we are pleased with these results, we don’t want to be complacent. Briercrest is an institution that strives for spiritual and academic excellence and we are committed to on-going life-long learning,” he explained. 

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