by Mark Katayama
For community colleges, student engagement comprises many of the programs, services, and staffing targeted at making students successful. Survey of Entering Student Engagement (SENSE) helps community and technical colleges focus on the “front door:” of the college experience. Grounded in research about what works in retaining and supporting entering students, the SENSE survey collects and analyzes data about institutional practices and student behaviors in the earliest weeks of college.
Both El Camino College and the El Camino College Compton Center participated in the SENSE survey in Fall 2016 and the results showed overall improvement in most categories. Here are two highlights, one from each campus:
At El Camino College, academic plans and pathways improved across the categories targeting student interactions with academic advisors. Specifically, almost three-quarters of students felt advisors helped identify courses they needed to enroll in for their first semester. Additionally, an area of weakness in 2014 was advisors helping to set academic goals, in 2016 that aspect improved to over half of the students feeling they were guided in developing academic goals and creating a plan to achieve them.
At El Camino College Compton Center, two benchmark scores improved and surpassed the SENSE national average. Students entering with high expectations and aspirations showed over half of students felt faculty wanted them to succeed. Additionally, students felt their skills developed and honed within the first three weeks of the semester to obtain their academic and career goals by the campus.
The SENSE reports and highlights for each campus are available on the Institutional Research & Planning Survey Page.
IRP representatives are happy to present and discuss these results at any division or department meeting on campus. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a presentation.