Dale Nesbary

Dale Nesbary
Muskegon Community College

“The Center’s staff and data have helped advance Muskegon’s Student Success and Completion Agenda. Since employing Center tools, our persistence, retention, and completion rates have clearly improved relative to our past and those of similar colleges.”

SENSE Registration

The Center’s Mission

The Center for Community College Student Engagement, a service and research initiative of the Program in Higher Education Leadership in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy in the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin, provides important information about effective educational practice in community colleges. The Center assists institutions and other stakeholders in using data to inform discussions that can lead to increased student success.

Surveys & Related Projects

The Center conducts a collection of national surveys:

The Center also operates several related initiatives.

Quick Links

Here are some other links you might find helpful:

To learn more about the Center, please feel free to give us a call at 512-471-6807.

See more video clips on the Center’s YouTube Channel.

Center Releases New Report on Academic Advising and Student Engagement

Report cover for Show Me the Way: The Power of Advising in Community Colleges

With survey findings collected from over 130,000 community college students across more than 200 institutions, Show Me the Way: The Power of Advising in Community Colleges confirms that students who receive more advising—more time with advisors and more in-depth discussions in their sessions—are more engaged.


Sixty-two percent of first-term students and 78% of returning students report meeting with an advisor, yet the advising experience is not the same for all of these students. Eighty-six percent of returning students say that an advisor explained which classes they needed to take in order to reach their academic goals, and 65% report that an advisor helped them develop an academic plan. Only 53% report that an advisor spoke with them about their commitments outside of school.

The report’s supporting materials include discussion questions for the college community to consider as well as video clips from focus groups that the Center conducted with students and advisors. These supporting materials can be used to spur internal conversations about colleges’ own advising models. The report also includes a link to student and advisor focus group guides that can be used to capture different perspectives about the advising experience.


Join Executive Director Evelyn Waiwaiole and Center staff for a webinar on Show Me the Way on Tuesday, February 27, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. CT.

Register here.

Please also see the related news release.


SENSE logo

Registration Now Open for SENSE 2018

Registration for the 2018 Survey of Entering Student Engagement (SENSE) is currently underway. Grounded in research about what works in supporting and retaining entering students, SENSE collects and analyzes data about institutional practices and student behaviors in the earliest weeks of college. These data can help colleges understand students’ critical early experiences and improve institutional practices that affect student success in the first college year.

For more information, please contact info@cccse.org.


Check Out the Center’s Spring E-News Update: Engagement Matters

The Center publishes Engagement Matters twice a year as a venue for providing project updates, previewing survey and focus group findings, and highlighting member college stories. This issue features a preview of the Center’s upcoming national report on academic advising, highlights a member college using student voices in a unique way, and introduces the SENSE 2018 Pathways special-focus module.


Center Releases Inaugural Issue of Re-Engaging Data

In Re-Engaging Data, the Center will share additional findings from further investigations of national report data.

This issue explores ways in which students work to fill the gap between Pell Grants and need.


Center Releases New Report on Enrollment Patterns and Student Success

Even One Semester: Full-Time Enrollment and Student Success

With survey findings collected from almost 61,000 community college students across 253 institutions and transcript data for over 17,000 students at 28 institutions, Even One Semester: Full-Time Enrollment and Student Success shows that any full-time enrollment can improve engagement and outcomes.


Traditionally, the field tends to think of part-time and full-time as fixed classifications; this report explores three classifications of enrollment: always-part-time, fluid attendance pattern (students who attend part-time and full-time), and always-full-time. We found that always part-time students are less likely to talk about career plans with an instructor or advisor, less likely to seek career counseling services, and less likely to participate in college orientation than their always-full-time peers or peers with fluid attendance patterns.

While students who always enroll full-time are the most successful, 34% of those who enrolled full-time for at least some of their community college career earned an associate degree or a certificate, but only 23% of those who always enrolled part-time did so. Those who enrolled full-time at least some of the time were also more likely to complete gateway classes in math and English than their always part-time peers.

The report includes discussion questions and links to student and faculty focus group guides that can be used to help colleges dive into the work of ensuring that the part-time student experience more closely mirrors the full-time one.


Watch a webinar on Even One Semester facilitated by Center Executive Director Evelyn Waiwaiole.

Please also see the related news release and other supporting materials.


The Pathways Project - Guiding Students to College Completion

Pathways Project logo

Implementing guided academic and career pathways at scale—for all students—is the shared commitment of 30 colleges selected, through a highly competitive national process, to participate in the Pathways Project led by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).


The Center is part of the national partnership, which is focused on building capacity for community colleges to implement a pathways approach to student success and college completion. Partners are Achieving the Dream, Inc., the Aspen Institute, Community College Research Center, Jobs for the Future, the National Center for Inquiry and Improvement, and Public Agenda. These organizations have participated actively in the college selection process and also are substantively involved in designing and delivering a model series of six two-day institutes, each focusing on key elements in a fully scaled pathway model for community colleges. The Project is funded through a $5.2 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.



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