SENSE Validation Project

Project Description

The Survey of Entering Student Engagement (SENSE) was launched in 2007 to help community and technical colleges understand more about their students’ earliest experiences. SENSE is administered during the fourth and fifth weeks of the fall academic term to students in courses randomly selected from those most likely to enroll entering students. Students respond to the survey in class, and member colleges receive reports of the results, including data and analysis they can use to improve their programs and services for entering students.

Since 2007, the survey instrument has been refined and the sampling, administration, data analysis, and reporting routines have been established. The missing piece, though, is a validation of the survey. The purpose of this project is to produce scientifically-based evidence that the survey data are valid and related to early student success and persistence, as well as to increase confidence that actions based on SENSE results will lead to increased success among entering students.

2016 SENSE data from nine community and technical colleges in Texas will be matched with student record data from the colleges; the student record data will include courses attempted, course grades, and terms enrolled. The student record data will be collected for the fall 2016 term and the subsequent terms through and including the fall 2017 term. Utilizing these combined data, Center researchers will examine the relationships between student engagement through their first few weeks in college as measured by SENSE and near-term student outcomes including success in developmental courses, in gatekeeper math and English courses, fall-to-spring persistence, and fall-to-fall persistence.

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: