Date of Award

Spring 5-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Higher Education Leadership, Management, Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Rong Chen, PhD

Committee Member

Eunyoug Kim, PhD

Committee Member

Beth Castiglia, PhD


Education, National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), Faith-based higher education, Mission driven, Character Development


For many institutions devoted to their mission, especially those that state as their I goal the promotion of character development, the need for measurement tools becomes a priority. These tools can by used not only to assess the stated outcomes, but also to guide I institutional policies, practices, and improvements. The purpose of this study is to determine whether educationally purposeful activities and institutional type are related to the student development of character and how these relationships differ across institutional type. The data from senior students at four-year institutions who completed the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) were used. Descriptive and ordinal logistic regression was performed to examine whether a relationship between educationally purposeful activities, student characteristics, behaviors, and institutional type and the student development of a deepened sense of spirituality, a personal code of values and ethnics, and an understanding of people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds exists. The findings of this study suggest that educationally purposeful activities are related to the development of character and that the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) is a useful tool in assisting mission driven faith-based institutions in the assessment of their student development of character.