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An Improvement Strategy for Community Colleges

The Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) provides a much-needed tool for assessing quality in community college education. CCSSE results help colleges focus on good educational practice — defined as practice that promotes high levels of student learning and retention — and identify areas in which community colleges can improve their programs and services for students.

Each year, CCSSE releases the results of its survey, which is administered directly to community college students at CCSSE member colleges during randomly selected classes. The survey asks questions about institutional practices and student behaviors that are highly correlated with student learning and retention. Results are public, and they are presented for the full CCSSE population, various subgroups within the full population, and individual colleges. Results include national benchmarks and institutional benchmark scores for five key areas of engagement. PVCC benchmark scores and student responses to the related questions can be found in Document #2 (Research Documentation)

CCSSE is committed to presenting data without flinching. Accurate information, whether positive or negative, can help improve educational practice and performance. We also support community college efforts to use survey data for continuous improvement, and we encourage policymakers to create conditions that support and reward institutional work to improve student learning.

Engagement By Design: 2011 PVCC Findings

The CCSSE survey was administered directly to PVCC students during Spring 2011 [N = 860], asked questions about institutional practices and student behaviors that are highly correlated with student learning and retention, and used a sampling methodology that is consistent across all participating colleges. Nearly 444,000 community college students from 699 community and technical colleges in 48 states responded to the CCSSE survey in either 2009, 2010, or 2011.

Putting Engagement into PVCC Context

CCSSE was administered in the context of our strategic focus to increase student success through engagement; addressing the strategic issues of becoming a more learning centered college, addressing the needs of the increasing numbers of ethnic minority students, serving the increasing number of under-prepared students entering PVCC; and meeting our assessment goal of providing academic and outside classroom assessment of learning.

Contact Us

John Snelling

Director of Research and Institutional Effectiveness
602.787.6840            Office: G130

Brandon Mesanko

Coordinator of Institutional Effectiveness
602.787.6841            Office: G131

Ellen Hedlund

Coordinator of Institutional Effectiveness

Jaime Adriance

Research Associate
602.787.6842            Office: G132

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