Each member college provides the Center for Community College Student Engagement with their fall term Course Schedule File (CSF), which should contain only these courses:
- All developmental reading, writing, and math courses at all levels (excluding ESL)
- First college-level English course(s)
- First college-level math course(s)
From this population, the Center draws a random sample of course sections in which SENSE is administered. This selection process introduces a bias based on full-time/part-time status because full-time students by definition are enrolled in more classes and therefore are more likely to be surveyed. Consequently, SENSE data are weighted based on the most recent publicly available IPEDS data to more accurately represent the entering student population.
Every member college has a designated survey administrator who is responsible for organizing the on-site administration of SENSE. Detailed procedure guides, conference calls, and ongoing support of SENSE college liaisons are provided by the Center and used by member colleges to ensure effective survey administration. This approach ensures that a consistent administration process is used across all member colleges.
Data collection is accomplished through in-class administration of a paper survey, during the 4th and 5th weeks of the fall academic term, with survey administrators using a provided script. This approach yields high response rates.