Students in Need in Community Colleges Project

Past project — Conducted from September 1, 2019 - November 30, 2022

Project Description

CCCSE proudly announces the Students in Need in Community Colleges project. The project, co-funded by The Kresge Foundation and ECMC Foundation, will allow CCCSE to build on working knowledge about food insecurity, housing insecurity, and homelessness of community college students.

Many students attend community college to make a better life for themselves, but according to the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice, “Too many students leave college without credentials because life, logistics, and a lack of money got in the way” (About).

The Hope Center and its #RealCollege Survey have elevated discussions about food insecurity, housing insecurity, and homelessness and incorporated these issues into the narrative of why students are not completing college. Through the Students in Need in Community Colleges project, CCCSE will be able to explore these pressing issues at the national level and bring further attention to community college students who endure food insecurity, housing insecurity, and homelessness.

The Students in Need in Community Colleges project will feature the administration of a 15-item additional item set with the 2021 Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) and a 12-item special-focus module with the 2021 Survey of Entering Student Engagement (SENSE). The following advisory panel of experts provided guidance on the creation of the additional items:

  • Dr. Rashida Crutchfield, Associate Professor, California State University, Long Beach
  • Dr. Melissa Richardson Curtis, Vice President of Student Success, Howard Community College (MD)
  • Dr. Brenna Ellison, Associate Professor and Undergraduate Program Coordinator, Agricultural Economics, Purdue University
  • Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab
  • Dr. Davis Jenkins, Senior Research Scholar, Community College Research Center, Teachers College Columbia University
  • Dr. Kay McClenney, Senior Consultant to the President and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges; Senior Fellow, National Center for Inquiry & Improvement
  • Jeff Webster, Director of Research, Trellis Company

By incorporating these new additional item sets in its two large-scale national surveys, CCCSE will be able to explore nationally the characteristics of students who are food insecure, housing insecure, and homeless, as well as the impact of student need on student engagement and self-reported GPA.

CCCSE will also conduct interviews in fall 2021 with students at three diverse community college campuses and will release a national report on students in need in fall 2022 based on the data collected from CCSSE and SENSE and information obtained from the interviews with students.

About the Hope Center. (n.d.). Retrieved from