College to take part in survey

Retention to be focal point

Los Medanos College will take part in a national survey known as the Community College Survey of Student Engagement this semester. The survey will assist the college in identifying the areas in which it can improve its programs. Diablo Valley College and Contra Costa College will be participating in the survey as well.

“The survey will be administered in classes randomly selected by the Center, to ensure a representative sample and to preserve the integrity of the survey results,” LMC President Bob Kratochvil wrote in an email sent out to LMC staff and faculty.

According to the CCSSE website, it was founded in 2001 to gather information about student engagement at community colleges. Its focal point has been in providing community colleges with survey data to raise student learning and retention. In 2003, the center was able to institute national benchmarks that allowed community colleges to gauge their performance among a state and national level.

The survey is typically administered during the spring semester and “asks about institutional and student behaviors that are highly correlated with student learning and retention,” according to the CCSE website.

Over ten years of survey data findings were published by the center last year in a report called “Engagement Rising”, which detailed the demographics of the average community college as well as providing evidence for increased amounts of student engagement.  The findings also highlighted an increase in student behaviors that the CCSE says highly correlate with student success.

The report states that the information the CCSE gathers is useful in allowing community colleges to focus on subgroups most prevalent on their campus.  By identifying the behavior and lifestyle of students both in and out of the classroom, the community college can gain a better understanding of how to help students achieve their academic and career goals.