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Educational Effectiveness Research

Survey and focus group data provides a snapshot of the behaviors, attitudes, and experiences of Biola students and faculty. The Office of Educational Effectiveness facilitates a comprehensive survey schedule to track students’ academic and co-curricular development throughout their time at Biola. Summary survey results are available to the Biola community online upon request. Different survey instruments are used in rotation to enhance the reliability of the findings.

National Surveys

Survey Calendar

Year Fall Spring
2021-2022 CIRP Freshman Survey HEDS Alumni Survey
2022-2023 CIRP Freshman Survey NSSE
2023-2024 CIRP Freshman Survey College Senior Survey

Note: Survey calendar is subject to change.

Overview of Surveys

CIRP/HERI Freshman Survey

For over 50 years, the CIRP Freshman Survey (TFS) has provided data on incoming college students’ background characteristics, high school experiences, attitudes, behaviors, and expectations for college. Biola extends the CIRP/HERI Freshman Survey to all incoming undergraduate students, including transfers and post-traditional students. Designed for administration to incoming first-year students before they start classes at your institution, the data serves as a snapshot of what incoming students are like before they experience college. Key sections of the survey examine academic preparedness, expectations of college, values, and goals, demographic characteristics, admissions decisions and concerns about financing college (

Summary findings (available upon request):

  • CIRP Freshman Survey 2018 Summary Infographic

College Senior Survey

The College Senior Survey, administered each spring to Biola’s graduating seniors, serves as a companion post-test to the CIRP Freshman Survey, providing longitudinal data on the students’ college experience. Rooted in Astin’s (1993) input-environment-outcomes model for determining the impact of college, paired data from the surveys allows institutions to measure how the college environment has impacted students by controlling for their first-year characteristics (

Summary findings (available upon request):

  • College Senior Survey 2017 Summary Infographic
  • College Senior Survey 2014–2017 Longitudinal Report — Executive summary


The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) asks first-year and senior students about the nature and quality of their undergraduate experience. NSSE measures the extent to which students engage in effective educational practices that are empirically linked with learning, personal development, and other desired outcomes such as persistence, satisfaction, and graduation. NSSE has been administered since 2000 and has been used at over 1,500 colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada (

Summary findings (available upon request):

  • NSSE 2015 Snapshot
  • NSSE 2018 Snapshot
  • NSSE/FSSE 2018 Executive Summary


A companion to NSSE, the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE) asks instructional faculty (full-time and adjuncts) to share their perceptions of how often students engage in different activities that impact their learning, the importance that they as instructors place on various learning activities, how often they meet with students and how they organize their time, both inside and outside of the classroom ( When paired, the NSSE and FSSE provide rich insight into gaps between student and faculty perceptions and experiences, suggesting areas worthy of institutional emphasis.

Summary findings (available upon request):

  • FSSE 2015 Snapshot
  • FSSE 2018 Snapshot
  • NSSE/FSSE 2018 Executive Summary


The National College Health Assessment (NCHA) is a nationally recognized research survey that collects precise data about Biola students’ health habits, behaviors, and perceptions.

The ACHA-NCHA Survey offers a way to map the widest range of health issues affecting our undergraduate students:

  • Alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use
  • Sexual health
  • Weight, nutrition, and exercise
  • Mental health
  • Personal safety and violence

At Biola we extend the NCHA survey to all enrolled students (undergraduate and graduate). We use the survey to identify and prioritize our health and wellness initiatives on campus. We use the data to inform policy and programming decisions not only in the "student health center" but also in other campus programs that care about the wellness of students.

NACE First Destination

The NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) First-Destination survey provides comprehensive and reliable data which can be used to inform and shape career expectations of current undergraduate, new alumni, and prospective students. This survey requests information about employment, continuing education, opinions about job placement and preparedness for life after graduation from Biola alumni within six months of graduation. Additionally, it helps to provide trends data to help enrich discussions over the value of higher education. (

Survey Research Report Requests

  • Research Reports
  • Custom Reports
    • To support the work of assessment, the Office of Educational Effectiveness will occasionally provide academic and co-curricular departments with custom reports of survey data. To request a custom report, please complete the Survey Data Report Request Form. If you are wondering if a custom report might benefit your department, please contact the Office of Educational Effectiveness for a consultation.

Internal Surveys

Surveys administered by internal departments only to garner feedback from faculty, staff or students must be approved by the Office of Educational Effectiveness and the Office of University Communications, and typically do not also need PHRRC approval. The educational effectiveness and university communications offices collaborate on approving the content and timing of surveys distributed to the internal community. Our primary aim is to ensure ethical and appropriate methodology in our institutional research efforts. Our secondary aim is to mitigate over-surveying, which will benefit researchers and respondents alike. Those who wish to survey internal groups must fill out the Survey Application. Once the application has been reviewed, submitters will receive a response with any recommendations or requests that should be accommodated before the survey is sent to participants.

Internal Focus Groups

Another way to garner feedback from faculty, staff, or students may also be through focus groups. Biola's Protection of Human Rights in Research Committee (PHRRC) requires that any departments conducting focus groups with students, faculty or staff to gather feedback be approved by them. If you are interested in gathering feedback in this way, please see the PHRRC directory page for more information.

Questions about survey and focus group processes may be directed to Director of Educational Effectiveness Eileen Soto at