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.
CCSSEs Survey Instrument
You may download PDF files to view and print the following versions of the survey.
- 2005-2016 (PDF)
- 2004 (PDF)
- 2003 (for individual colleges) (PDF)
- 2003 with additional items (for consortia) (PDF)
- 2002 (PDF)
- 2001 (PDF)
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.
- 2017 CCSSE Special-Focus Items – Academic Advising and Planning (PDF)
- 2016 CCSSE Special-Focus Items – Part-Timeness (PDF)
- 2015 CCSSE Special-Focus Items – Promising Practices for Community College Student Success (PDF)
- 2014 CCSSE Special-Focus Items – Promising Practices for Community College Student Success (PDF)
- 2013 CCSSE Special-Focus Items – Promising Practices for Community College Student Success (PDF)
- 2012 CCSSE Special-Focus Items – Promising Practices for Community College Student Success (PDF)
- 2011 CCSSE Special-Focus Items – Promising Practices for Community College Student Success (PDF)
- 2010 CCSSE Special-Focus Items – Deep Learning (PDF)
- 2009 CCSSE Special-Focus Items – Technology (PDF)
- 2008 CCSSE Special-Focus Items – Student Financial Aid (PDF)
- 2007 CCSSE Special-Focus Items – The Entering Student Experience (PDF)
- 2006 CCSSE Special-Focus Items – Academic Advising and Planning (PDF)
For an additional fee, a participating CCSSE college may add a maximum of 15 additional items to the survey. Additional survey items may be chosen from the Center's collection of standard additional item sets. Alternatively, a college or consortium may opt to create a custom additional item set by selecting items from the Additional Items Catalog, developing new items, or submitting 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.
Note: Colleges that do not opt to add additional survey items will automatically receive an additional item set on Academic Advising and Planning free of charge.
In 2006, CCSSE the Center completed a major validation research study on the version of the CCSSE instrument that was administered from 2005 to 2016. This study 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.
- Student Engagement and Student Outcomes: Key Findings from CCSSE Validation Research (PDF)
- Working Paper: CCSSE Validation Research 2006 (PDF)
For information about the research related to the items on CCSSE, view the Annotated Bibliography.
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
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.