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Institutional Assessment

Surveys and Studies Conducted at The Citadel

National Surveys

Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) Freshman Survey. The Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) is a national longitudinal study of the American higher education system established in 1966 at the American Council on Education and, since 1973, administered by the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) in Los Angeles, CA. Each year, approximately 700 colleges and universities administer the CIRP Freshman Survey to over 400,000 entering freshmen. The survey covers a wide range of student characteristics: parental income and education, ethnicity, and other demographic items; financial aid; secondary school achievement and activities; educational and career plans; and values, attitudes, beliefs, and self-concept.  At The Citadel, we administer this survey to all entering freshmen during orientation, providing us with a snapshot of how our students spent their time in high school, what influenced their college decision making process, their perceptions of their own skills and abilities, and their ideas regarding their future college experience.

National Surveys of Student Engagement (NSSE) & Faculty Surveys of Student Engagement (FSSE). The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE) are based on more than twenty years of research documenting the effects of specific educational practices in higher education. They focus on what students do and what institutions do. It looks at the time and energy students report devoting to educationally purposeful activities, and how well the institution is using effective educational practices to induce students to do the right things academically. The research shows that effective educational practices include plenty of student-faculty contact, active learning by students, prompt feedback from faculty, significant time in academic preparation, high performance expectations, institutional respect for diverse learning styles, and plenty of cooperation among students. At The Citadel, we administer this survey to all freshmen and seniors in the spring, providing us with a snapshot of student engagement and growth during their college experience.

Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA). The Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA), an initiative of the Council for Aid to Education, has been used by hundreds of US institutions to measure an institution’s contribution, or value added, to the development of higher-order skills, such as critical thinking and written communication. The Citadel administers the CLA to 100 freshmen in the Fall and 100 seniors in the Spring of each school year. The CLA is intended to assist faculty, school administrators, and others interested in programmatic change with improving teaching and learning, particularly with respect to strengthening higher-order skills.

Multi-Institutional Survey of Leadership. The Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership (MSL) examines the influences of higher education on college student leadership development. A total of 148 U.S. colleges and universities have participated in the MSL over the last three years, including The Citadel, which administers the survey across the Corps of Cadets in the Spring. The MSL seeks to identify which college experiences at The Citadel have a positive influence on leadership-related outcomes. In particular, the study measures leadership development in the eight core values (listed below) that are identified in the Social Change Model of Leadership Development. The MSL also measures student confidence in their leadership efficacy and their perceived growth in complex cognitive skills.

CORE Institute Alcohol & Drug Survey. The CORE Alcohol and Drug Survey, developed by the CORE Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, assesses the nature, scope, and consequences of alcohol and other drug use on college campuses. The Citadel has participated in the survey since fall of 2000. The survey provides an overview of alcohol, drug, and tobacco trends reported by students at The Citadel.

Chronicle of Higher Education's (CHE) Great Colleges to Work For Survey. The Great Colleges to Work For Survey is conducted by the Chronicle of Higher Education and Modern Think LLC. The most recent survey involved over 300 institutions of higher learning and 40,000 faculty, staff, and administrators. Participants were asked to respond to questions about institutional characteristics and their evaluation of their institution. For the survey, institutions are categorized by the size of their undergraduate and graduate populations, as well as their status as 2- or 4-year institutions.

Locally-Developed Surveys

The Citadel administers many locally-developed surveys throughout the year to provide data for continuous improvement efforts, including the following:

  • Citadel Experience Survey,
  • Social Climate Survey,
  • Ethics in Action Ethics Concepts Pre-test/Post-test,
  • Ethics in Action Ethical Reasoning Survey,
  • Citadel Alumni Survey,
  • Citadel Employer Survey, and
  • Citadel Graduate College (CGC) Student Satisfaction Survey.
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