How do you feel when you hear that 97% of survey respondents would recommend Skyline College to a friend or family member? In fact, 84% of survey respondents indicated that their overall Skyline College educational experience was “good” or “excellent.”
These insights were garnered from the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE), a national survey which 1,005 Skyline College students completed last spring. What students are doing within and outside of the classroom, knowing their goals, and understanding their external responsibilities can inform how we create an environment that enhances their learning, development, and ultimately their ability to succeed in achieving their academic goals. A snapshot of students’ experiences, the current results can be compared with the results from the 2016 cohort (colleges that administered the survey between 2014- 2016) and the past two times we administered the survey.
The CCSSE provides information on the institutional practices and student behaviors that are highly correlated with student learning and retention. Conceptually related items are clustered under the five “benchmark” areas which educational research has shown to be important to students’ college experiences and educational outcomes: (1) active and collaborative learning, (2) student- faculty interaction, (3) academic challenge, (4) student effort, and (5) support for learners. The College fared better than the 2016 cohort in “support for learners,” and was most challenged in “student effort.” “Support for learners” encompasses a variety of goals: providing effective student support services, cultivating positive relationships among groups on campus, and demonstrating a commitment to student success. “Student effort,” meanwhile, pertains to students’ own behaviors. For instance, with one survey item, 21% of Skyline College respondents “often” or “very often” come to class without completing readings or assignments, compared to 14% of the 2016 cohort. The point of the CCSSE is not to blame, however, but rather to better understand the challenges students face—including those outside of school, and to take an honest look at our roles in impacting students’ ability to flourish at Skyline College. For further exploration of the survey items that fall under these benchmarks, you’re encouraged to participate in one of the CCSSE interactive presentations that will take place next semester.
Our college community has begun to analyze the results, and the Planning, Research, and Institutional Effectiveness (PRIE) office is eager to engage more of the college in talking about the results. So far, discussions have taken place in the Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC), the Strategic Planning and Allocation of Resources Committee (SPARC), the College Governance Council (CGC), and the CTTL’s Boot-Up Camp. Next semester, additional venues will be through the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning (CTTL) and potentially division meetings and governance committees, as well as research briefs in “Skyline Shines.” We hope to see you at one of these interactive presentations!
For more information about the CCSSE, visit www.ccsse.org, or for a copy of the actual survey, see http://www.ccsse.org/aboutsurvey/docs/CCSR_2005.pdf .
Article by Karen Wong