CCSSE 2017: Aiming to Improve Students’ College Experience

Since we administered the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE), which is a national survey that gathers students’ perspectives about their whole experience at the College, in 2015, we have been able to make more informed decisions about improving those experiences. Now, once again, the CCSSE will be administered this spring.

The 2015 CCSSE has been insightful in many ways.

Marcia Roman, counselor on Osceola Campus, says the CCSSE was “a natural and easy place to find data that collegewide counselors might use for their assessment work. Assessment work can sometimes seem overwhelming. Much effort is often poured into wrestling with what additional data needs to be gathered, developing collection methods and, sometimes, shoe-horning the new data to fit the work.”

As part of Student Affairs, the counselors see how clearly the scope of their work is embedded in the survey of student engagement.

What made the large set of CCSSE 2015 data useful was “disaggregating the data by gender, race, full-time or part-time status, and campus so that we could see different groups of students reporting different levels of engagement as measured by different survey items,” Marcia said.

The disaggregated responses allowed the counselors to view responses and find areas where there is room for improvement, including the survey item “How much does this college provide the support you need to help you succeed at this College?”

The intervention they developed is known as The Green Bag Campaign, which is intervention that helps provide support for students to succeed. Marcia and the assessment team for counselors are looking forward to the CCSSE 2017 data as one way to measure the impact of this campaign.

Counselors aren’t the only ones who found the CCSSE 2015 data extremely helpful. It has also helped the New Student Experience. Several of the survey items have been included on the Student Feedback on Instruction (SFI) survey each term for The New Student Experience (NSE) course.

Jenny Lee, professor, NSE, recalls Assessment Day 2016: “The NSE faculty compared data from the CCSSE, the SFI and faculty insights\input to decide our focus for the 2016-2017 academic year. When you look just at the SFI data, you only get one picture, which rarely gives you the full story. When we were able to compare SFI to the College’s CCSSE results, we found that in some of the areas where we weren’t sure if our students were doing well, they were actually responding better than the College’s average.”

Campus Dean of Learning Support Karen Reilly agrees that “CCSSE provides great information that we would not otherwise be able to dial down into, which has provided confirmation on detailed areas of the Quality Enhancement Plan. The variety of questions about the college experience and their engagement provides the type of detail that would be hard to capture elsewhere.”

The Institutional Assessment office provided CCSSE and SFI data formatted in Tableau, which Karen described as “powerful, opening a whole bunch of doors.”

As a result, the NSE teams are able to report out CCSSE items, like students developing clearer career goals well above the national data.

And with the CCSSE 2017 just around the corner, we will be able to get an even clear picture of our efforts that will provide deeper insight to our students’ college experience.

To view key findings from the 2015 survey, click here. Or, for more details on the survey, visit the Valencia CCSSE web page.

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