In 2019, BCSSE updated the survey to include entering transfer and older students. For entering first-year students, BCSSE collects data about their high school academic and co-curricular experiences, as well as their expectations for participating in educationally purposeful activities during the first college year. For transfer and older students, BCSSE collects information about prior educational experiences, important entering characteristics, as well as their expectations for participating in educationally purposeful activities during the college year.
BCSSE administration usually takes place prior to the start of fall classes and is designed to be paired with a NSSE administration in the spring to provide an in-depth understanding of first-year student engagement. Faculty, advisors, administrators, researchers, and others can use BCSSE data independently or in combination with NSSE data for program development, institutional assessment and improvement, and related purposes.
In fall 2019, 137 U.S. institutions and 4 from Canada participated in BCSSE. Of those, 91 (65%) also administered NSSE in spring 2020, allowing comparisons of incoming students’ prior experiences and expectations with their actual experiences during the first year.