Daniel J. Phelan

Daniel J. Phelan
Jackson College

“The Center has given voice to the needs of the community college student in a very personal, descriptive and insightful manner. The Center brings data integrity and credibility to the field, which is essential for our movement to innovate and change in ways to help students succeed at higher levels.”

SENSE Registration

The Center's Mission

The Center for Community College Student Engagement, a research and service initiative of the Program in Higher Education Leadership in the Department of Educational Administration 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 policymakers in using information to promote improvements in student learning, persistence, and attainment.

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 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.


Join a webinar on Even One Semester facilitated by Center Executive Director Evelyn Waiwaiole on Wednesday, May 3, 2017, at 1:00 p.m. CT.

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


Registration for 2017 Student Success Institute Now Open


The 2017 Student Success Institute will engage college leadership in an in-depth review and discussion on how to utilize student engagement data to support the implementation of the Pathways model. Registration is open on the Institute's page.

Colleges that register by April 30, 2017, will receive a $500 discount on the team price.


SENSE logo

Registration Now Open for SENSE 2017

Registration for the 2017 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.


Center Releases New Report on the Role of Community Colleges in Student Financial Health

Making Ends Meet: The Role of Community Colleges in Student Financial Health

Making Ends Meet: The Role of Community Colleges in Student Financial Health, generously funded by MetLife Foundation and with findings collected from almost 100,000 community college students across 177 institutions, explores students' perceptions of their current financial circumstances, budgeting practices, and financial management skills.


Almost two-thirds of working students report living paycheck to paycheck, and over half of those who report paying bills say that it is a struggle to keep up from time to time. However, over three-quarters of students say that they have the skills to manage their own finances. These findings raise a number of questions that the report explores, and they leave colleges with a strong charge: ensuring that students have access to available financial support resources and ensuring that students are equipped to manage their finances.

To assist colleges with this work, the report includes a discussion guide and a link to a focus group guide, both of which can be used to facilitate conversations regarding student financial health.


Watch a webinar on Making Ends Meet facilitated by Center Executive Director Evelyn Waiwaiole and Amarillo College's Assistant Director of Career and Testing Services Lisa Bentley, who coordinates the college's Student Money Management Center.

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


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 previews a special report on student financial health the Center is releasing in February 2017, features the new Center-created Pathways Toolkit, and highlights a member college using Center data for accreditation purposes.


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 Administration  | College of Education
The University of Texas at Austin
Comments to: webmaster@cccse.org