About the Center


In 2008, The University of Texas' College of Education established the Center for Community College Student Engagementformerly known as the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE)—as the umbrella organization for survey research, focus group work, and related services for community and technical colleges interested in improving educational quality through strengthened student engagement and student success. The Center operates as a research and service initiative of the Program for Higher Education Leadership (PHEL), which is in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy. Since 2001, major grants have supported the work.

In August 2008, the Center moved to an off-campus building near The University of Texas to accommodate growing operational needs related to the large numbers of colleges participating in the work. CCSSE remains the Center's flagship survey as the Center continues quantitative and qualitative work with community colleges across the United States, Canada, and several island nations.

The organization has grown to include a staff of professionals with a wide variety of skills, plus doctoral interns, doctoral research assistants, and undergraduate student workers, serving more than 900 different community colleges. Since 2002, the Center has surveyed nearly 3 million community college students cumulatively representing a total credit enrollment of more than 6.5 million students. Member colleges represent an overwhelming majority of all accredited, public, associate-degree-granting institutions in the United States.

Today, the Center is known nationally for a variety of activities and accomplishments, including the following:

  • The Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE), the original student survey

  • The Community College Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (CCFSSE), a companion survey to the original student survey

  • The Survey of Entering Student Engagement (SENSE), another student survey that alternatively focuses on the "front door" of the community college experience

  • Qualitative research including student interviews and focus groups through the Center's various initiatives

  • Research-based national benchmarks of effective educational practice for community colleges and a website that provides publicly reported results and interactive data search/ benchmarking capabilities

  • Ongoing research and analyses by Center professionals and doctoral students of student and institutional behaviors, perceptions, and practices affecting community college student engagement and success—work that has resulted in numerous Center publications and journal articles, extensive media coverage, and a growing number of dissertations

  • Printed and electronic national reports distributed across the country to community colleges, higher education researchers and organizations, and the media

  • A growing online collection of tools and resources for member colleges' use in strengthening their understanding and use of data for institutional improvement, reaffirmation of accreditation, and accountability

  • Regional, state, and college-level student success institutes and professional development workshops

Questions about the Center or its products and services? Contact us.

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