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-Present (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. As the Center continues its work focused on identifying and promoting high-impact practices, the 2015 five-question special-focus item set will once again focus on promising practices for student success.
- 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 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.
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.
- 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. 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.
NSSEs Survey Instrument
CCSSEs 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 NSSEs website.