May Research Brief Examines SENSE Results (Part II)

The May 2012 edition of Research & Practice looks at the three benchmark areas in which the College was below other large community colleges on the Survey of Entering Student Engagement (SENSE). The survey is designed to provide a clear picture of student behaviors in the earliest weeks of college and institutional practices that impact those behaviors.

Scores from a recent student survey conducted by the University of Texas at Austin indicated that the College is below average in three of six benchmark areas: Engaged Learning, Early Connections, and High Expectations and Aspirations.

Students indicated in “Engaged Learning” that although they felt engaged during class discussions, less than 30% of students actively engage in collaborative projects outside the classroom.

In “Early Connections,” less than 50% of students suggested the College provided adequate information on financial aid and more than 80% of students suggested there was no specific person assigned to them if they required follow-up information or assistance.

The College’s lowest performing benchmark was “High Expectations and Aspirations.” It is important to note that this is the students’ expectations of themselves, not of the College. The large majority of students indicated that they believed faculty wanted them to succeed academically and that they have the motivation to do the work. However, students suggested they did not feel prepared to succeed in college.

During the Fall 2011 semester, 424 students from 93 courses at the College participated in the Survey of Entering Student Engagement (SENSE). Administered by the University of Texas at Austin, SENSE surveys six major benchmarks: Early Connections, High Expectations and Aspirations, Clear Academic Plan and Pathway, Effective Track to College Readiness, Engaged Learning, and Academic and Social Support Network.

~ by Whitney Etter

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