Measuring Instrument (CSSAS)


ACE has developed an instrument—the College Student Self-Assessment Survey (CSSAS) that measures how the affective realm of emotions and feelings impacts learning and student achievement. Designed with ACE by MPR Associates and social science researcher, Martin Chemers, the CSSAS is an on-line survey that integrates into existing assessment processes, so colleges can obtain more complete information on the varying levels of need of their incoming student population.


Become a Participating Partner College

ACE offers a comprehensive methodology to help colleges increase retention and completion rates of students who leave before, during or after their first semester.


Benefits of Adopting CSSAS at Your College

By using the CSSAS, colleges will have new information they can use to:

  • Identify levels of student vulnerability at your college
  • Understand your college’s population of incoming students
  • Position your college to be more competitive for grant opportunities that increasingly require effectiveness metrics, by providing detailed data on student vulnerabilities
  • Recruit students who are a good fit for various programs at your college
  • Provide counselors with affective-domain information useful for counseling students
  • Provide the ability for students to self-identify suitable programs based on their assessment results
  • Assess your college’s current programs and how they address your vulnerable student population segments
  • Gain new information that you can use to make better decisions about allocating scarce resources in developmental education at your college


How CSSAS Works

The CSSAS asks quantitative multiple-choice and demographic questions, and qualitative open-ended narrative questions. The questions are designed to measure academic behavior, academic confidence, motivation and self-awareness.

Students complete an Intake Application that surveys for risk factors, and in the course of their ACE semester students participate in four CSSAS measurements that act as snapshots of their academic goals and personal development over time.
The CSSAS survey measures changes over time in psychological traits:

  • Academic Behavior
  • Academic Confidence
  • Motivation
  • Self Awareness

"Development of CSSAS and Exploratory and Confirmatory Factor Analysis of CSSAS- excerpt from MPR Evaluation of the Academy for College Excellence - December 2011 (pdf)


CSSAS Logistics

ACE provides IT support to help your college’s IT group integrate the CSSAS online survey into your existing assessment process, new student orientation, or other suitable intake process at your college.
The ACE Intake Application can be filled-in online in twenty minutes. The CSSAS on-line survey can be completed in twenty minutes. Both tools can be integrated with a college’s current academic assessments.