About the CCSSE Survey

About the Survey

Extensive research has identified good educational practices that are directly related to retention and other desired student outcomes. The Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) builds on this research and asks students about their college experiences — how they spend their time; what they feel they have gained from their classes; how they assess their relationships and interactions with faculty, counselors, and peers; what kinds of work they are challenged to do; how the college supports their learning; and so on.

To view the survey results for a particular college, see “Member Colleges.” For more analysis of important survey findings or to search the data, see “Survey Results.”

CCSSE’s Survey Instrument

You may download PDF files to view and print the following versions of the survey.

In order to keep the Center's surveys fresh and relevant for the community college field, the Center each year selects a "special-focus" topic and develops new item sets that enable colleges to explore more deeply certain issues that are key to improved student engagement and student success. Thus, we are able to address issues of current importance to both colleges and their students, while also keeping the core survey stable. In preparation for an upcoming report on community college student enrollment trends, the Center will offer five special-focus items on part-timeness as part of the CCSSE 2016 administration.

For an additional fee, a participating CCSSE college may add a maximum of 15 custom items to the survey. Colleges electing to add Custom Survey Items to their administration may select items from the Additional Items Catalog, develop new items, or submit a combination of both. Please visit the Membership Options section of the website for more information. NOTE: When selecting additional items, be sure to check items against those on CCSSE to avoid overlap.

The Research Behind CCSSE

In 2006, CCSSE completed a major validation research study that examines the relationship between student engagement and community college student outcomes. While the connection between student engagement and student success has been emphasized in a number of major studies and reports on the undergraduate experience, the extant literature has focused almost exclusively on students in four-year colleges and universities — until now. This report on a three-pronged collection of studies validates the relationships between student engagement and a variety of student outcomes in community colleges — including academic performance, persistence, and attainment.

For information about the research related to the items on CCSSE, view the Annotated Bibliography. The link will lead you to a copy of the survey instrument; there you may click on any item and see an annotated list of related research articles.

To learn more about CCSSE and the work related to the psychometric properties of the survey, click on the following link.

In 2010, the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario released a study that explores the validity, within a Canadian college, of the CCSSE benchmarks of effective educational practice.

Center Responds to Questions Regarding Student Engagement Surveys

For college leaders, faculty, researchers, and members of the media who may be seeking to understand the purposes and uses of student engagement surveys, we provide here a brief set of Questions and Answers.

See the article Will These Trees Ever Bear Fruit? A Response to the Special Issue on Student Engagement (PDF) by Alexander C. McCormick and Kay McClenney in the The Review of Higher Education for more information.

NSSE’s Survey Instrument

CCSSE’s partner, the National Survey of Student Engagement, began adminstering a similar survey to students at four-year colleges and universities in 1998. For more details about similarities and differences between the surveys, see “The Relationship of the Community College Survey of Student Engagement CCSSE and the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE),” or view NSSE’s website.

Center for Community College Student Engagement
—a Research and Service Initiative—
Program in Higher Education Leadership | Department of Educational Administration  | College of Education
The University of Texas at Austin
Comments to: webmaster@cccse.org