Institutions administer BCSSE to first-year, transfer, and older students prior to the start of fall or winter classes. BCSSE collects data about entering students' prior academic and co-curricular experiences, as well as their expectations for participating in educationally purposeful activities during the coming college year. Institutions that administer BCSSE to their first-year students entering in the fall, can pair their BCSSE results with a NSSE administration at the end of the first college year, providing an in-depth understanding of first-year student engagement on your campus.
What Questions Does BCSSE Include?
BCSSE has common content for all students regarding their academic expectations and perceptions for the coming year. Examples include student expectations to work collaboratively with their peers, as well as expectations regarding academic help seeking. There are also BCSSE questions specific to first-year, transfer, and older students. These targeted questions provide a more in-depth understanding of each of these unique groups of students. See Survey Instruments for a brief summary of content areas covered by the survey, as well the example surveys.
How is the BCSSE Survey Administered?
BCSSE is locally administered by each institution, regardless of whether you are administering by paper, Web, or both. We provide the paper surveys and/or set up the survey Website for each institution, but all survey recruitment is handled by institutional staff using guidelines established by the Indiana University Bloomington Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects. BCSSE staff will provide assistance in deciding the best way to administer BCSSE at each campus. Institutions may administer BCSSE prior to the start of classes and up to the first two weeks of the fall term, depending on academic calendar and assessment needs. See the Administering BCSSE page for more information.
What Do Participating Institutions Receive?
BCSSE results are used in many ways including academic advising, retention efforts, first-year program design and evaluation, accreditation self-studies, faculty and staff development, and recruitment. See Reports & Data for more details regarding what participating institutions receive, as well as Working with BCSSE Data for examples of institutional data use.
Institutions receive reports and supporting information including:
- Student Advising Reports—Available for download within hours of completion of online surveys. For paper surveys, advising reports are available for download shortly after scanning and processing.
- Institutional Report (Updated 2019)—Presents results overall and disaggregated by prior grades and first-generation status.
- Student Data Files—Includes all survey responses and student-provided identifiers for linking to institutional records. Preliminary data file can be downloaded within hours of completion of online surveys and, for paper surveys, shortly after scanning and processing. A final student data file will be included with the Institutional Report download.
- Aggregate Summary Tables by Institution Type—Posted to the BCSSE website in late fall.