Community College Survey of Student Engagement

Overview from: web page

Community colleges have long distinguished themselves through their efforts to put students first and their emphasis on teaching and learning. Innovations in curriculum, teaching strategies, and support services for students are hallmarks of these institutions. Yet while community colleges often pioneer new strategies, they don't have sufficient access to tools that help them assess their initiatives and measure their progress toward key goals.

Today, community colleges are being asked to rise to new challenges. Across the country, community colleges must respond to the increasing expectations for quality, performance, and accountability set by governing boards, state and federal governments, accrediting organizations, and the public. Key among those expectations is that colleges should emphasize assessment and improvement of student retention and student learning.

To respond effectively to these challenges, community and technical colleges need assessment tools appropriate to their unique missions and the characteristics of their diverse student populations. The Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) is meeting that need.

CCSSE’s survey instrument, The Community College Student Report, provides information on student engagement, a key indicator of learning and, therefore, of the quality of community colleges. The survey, administered to community college students, asks questions that assess institutional practices and student behaviors that are correlated highly with student learning and student retention. The Community College Student Report is a versatile, research-based tool appropriate for multiple uses. It is a:

  • benchmarking instrument — establishing national norms on educational practice and performance by community and technical colleges
  • diagnostic tool — identifying areas in which a college can enhance students’ educational experiences
  • monitoring device — documenting and improving institutional effectiveness over time.

College of the Desert participated in the CCSSE survey in Spring 2008, Spring 2010, Spring 2012, Spring 2014, and Spring 2016. The results and available documentation for these surveys can be reviewed in the document libraries below.