As community and technical colleges focus on improving student outcomes, they need a way to systematically understand the earliest experiences of their students. The Survey of Entering Student Engagement (SENSE) provides this information. Developed by national experts in the field of community and technical college research and practice, SENSE is designed to provide a clear picture of both student behaviors in the earliest weeks of college and the institutional practices that affect students during this critical time.
The SENSE instrument includes items that elicit information from students about their first impressions of the college; intake processes such as admissions, registration, assessment, placement, orientation, and financial aid; how they spend their time as they begin college; how they assess their earliest relationships and interactions with instructors, advisors, and other students; what kinds of work they are challenged to do; how the college supports their learning in the first few weeks; and so on.
You may download PDF files to view and print the following versions of the survey.
SENSE Special-Focus Modules
For an additional fee, a participating SENSE college may add a maximum of two Special-Focus Modules of up to 12 items each to the survey. These modules may be chosen from the Center’s collection of Standard Special-Focus Modules (also listed below). Alternatively, a college may opt to create Custom Special-Focus Modules by selecting items from the Additional Items Catalog, developing new items, or submitting a combination of both. Please visit the Membership Options section of the website for more information.
- SENSE Special-Focus Module - Academic Advising and Planning (2016)
- SENSE Special-Focus Module - Building Relationships
- SENSE Special-Focus Module - Commitment and Support
- SENSE Special-Focus Module - Engagement through Technology
- SENSE Special-Focus Module - Financial Assistance
- SENSE Special-Focus Module - Promising Practices for Community College Student Success
- SENSE Special-Focus Module - Student Success Courses
The Research Behind SENSE
This linked Annotated Bibliography provides information about the literature supporting the SENSE instrument survey items.
Center Responds to Questions Regarding Student Engagement Surveys
See the article Will These Trees Ever Bear Fruit? A Response to the Special Issue on Student Engagement by Alexander C. McCormick and Kay McClenney in the The Review of Higher Education for more information.