National Surveys

K’s Survey Approach

The Office of Institutional Research oversees Kalamazoo College’s survey schedule and conducts campus-wide surveys to assess the effectiveness of the College’s academic programs including the four key skills that each student should obtain prior to graduation. These institutional learning outcomes (ILOs) are:

  • Communicate Effectively
  • Address Complex Problems
  • Collaborate Successfully
  • Demonstrate Intercultural Competency

National Survey Details

To reliably evaluate success over time, the College regularly administers the following nationally-recognized surveys:

The Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) Surveys

The Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) surveys administered by the Office of Institutional Research include the CIRP Freshman Survey (CIRP-TFS) and College Senior Survey (CIRP-CSS). These surveys generate useful data, both snapshots of cohorts at a particular time and longitudinal views, on cognitive and affective growth of students during college as well as student satisfaction. The CIRP-TFS provides an indirect baseline assessment of all four ILOs by surveying incoming first-year students. The CIRP-CSS provides both a snapshot and an indirect longitudinal assessment of all four ILOs by surveying graduating seniors.

The Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA+)

The Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA+) is a performance-based assessment which measures students’ abilities to think critically, reason analytically, solve problems, and write effectively. The CLA+ provides a direct, cross-sectional assessment of two Kalamazoo College ILOs (communicate effectively and address complex problems).

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) provides insights into the amount of time and effort students allocate to educationally meaningful activities that have been shown to be linked to student learning. NSSE also yields student perspectives on how well their institution fosters student engagement in those activities. The NSSE provides an indirect, cross-sectional assessment of all four ILOs.

National Survey Schedule

InstrumentParticipantsAdministrations – Past DecadePlanned Administrations
CIRP-TFSIncoming First-Years2011, 2013, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022Fall, annually (except during CLA+)
CLA/CLA+First-Years & Graduating Seniors2012 (FY), 2013 (SR), 2022 (FY), 2023 (SR)Fall/Spring, every 5 years
NSSEFirst-Years & Graduating Seniors2013, 2016, 2019, 2022Winter, every 2-3 years
CIRP-CSSGraduating Seniors2012, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2020, 2023Winter, every 2-3 years