Students highly satisfied, VSA report shows

For immediate release: October 1, 2008

BLOOMSBURG — The Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA) was unveiled Monday, Sept. 29. The VSA College Portrait of Undergraduate Education offers a snapshot of the undergraduate experience at four-year public colleges and universities nationwide, including Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, its 13 sister institutions in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, Penn State, Temple University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Developed by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, the VSA is designed to help institutions demonstrate accountability to the public, measure educational outcomes and assemble information that is accessible, understandable and comparable.

“We are delighted to be part of this important, new accountability process for higher education,” said BU President David L. Soltz. “We are proud of our strong profile and pleased that we have the opportunity to help future students and their families understand how public colleges and universities operate.”

Overall, the survey results reported to VSA reveal a high level of student satisfaction at Bloomsburg University. BU’s College Portrait shows that 96 percent of seniors in 2006-07 believed BU provides support for student success and 89 percent of seniors rated their entire educational experience as “good” or “excellent.” The seniors also reported intensive learning experiences, as 97 percent worked with classmates outside of class and 99 percent made at least one class presentation during the preceding year. Ninety-five percent of Bloomsburg’s seniors reported working harder than they thought they could during their college experience to meet an instructor’s standards or expectations.

The VSA indicates that 36 percent of BU’s new freshmen in 2007 were in the top 25 percent of their high school graduating class. At the opposite end of the college experience, a total of 1,838 students completed degree requirements in 2006-07, including 1,516 bachelor’s, 316 master’s and six doctoral degrees. The largest number of undergraduate degrees were awarded in business, management, marketing and related areas, 22 percent; education, 17 percent; health professions and related clinical sciences, 10 percent; social sciences, 9 percent; and English language and literature, 9 percent. Based on first-time or transfer students who enrolled in BU full-time in fall 2001, 86 percent had either graduated or were still enrolled in a higher education institution four years later.

More than 80 higher education leaders from 70 public institutions, including presidents, provosts, institutional research officers and faculty members, worked for eight months to develop the VSA program. Profiles also list information on demographics, financial aid, tuition and fees and other aspects of student life for each of the 302 participating colleges and universities.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Professional Studies, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.