HERI has been offering the Your First College Year (YFCY) survey since 2000. YFCY is the first national survey designed specifically to assess the academic and personal development of students over the first year of college.
Developed through a collaboration between HERI and the Policy Center on the First Year of College at Brevard College, YFCY enables institutions to identify features of the first year that encourage student learning, involvement, satisfaction, retention and success, thereby enhancing first-year programs and retention strategies at campuses across the country.
About the Your First College Year Survey
Your First College Year is a survey designed to provide higher education practitioners and researchers with comprehensive information on the academic and personal development of first-year college students. As such, YFCY collects information on a wide range of cognitive and affective measures, providing comprehensive institutional and comparative data for analyses of persistence, adjustment, and other first-year outcomes. Further, YFCY was designed as a follow-up survey to the annual CIRP Freshman Survey and allows for longitudinal research on the first year of college. However, YFCY also may be used as a stand-alone instrument.
Specifically colleges use the YFCY to:
- Evaluate student adjustment to college
YFCY includes several measures of adjustment during the first year of college, such as students' level
of satisfaction with various aspects of campus life, institutional facilities, and student services;
personal challenges that they face during their transition from high school to college; and feelings
of personal success at the end of the first year.
- Assess students' academic experiences and achievement
The survey collects information on a number of academic experiences of first-year students,
including classroom activities, academic engagement and disengagement, and interaction with faculty.
Further, YFCY asks students to rate their overall academic capabilities as well as skills in specific
intellectual areas and to report their first-year GPA.
- Collect information about extracurricular experiences
YFCY collects information on all aspects of student life including social commitments, study habits,
volunteer and service work, student employment, residential life experiences, involvement in campus
organizations, religious practices, and family obligations. Survey items provide information on both
the quantity and quality of these experiences.
- Study specific first-year programs
Several questions on YFCY assess students' experiences with various campus programs such as orientation,
honors courses, first-year seminars, remedial coursework, service learning opportunities, academic advising,
and learning communities as well as interaction with campus advisors, counselors, and other support personnel.
- Examine student change
As a follow-up instrument, YFCY is designed to help institutions assess how their students have changed since
entering college. When combined with CIRP Freshman Survey data, the YFCY serves as a longitudinal measure of
students' cognitive and affective growth during the first year.
Customizable YFCY Infographic
Our YFCY infographic is based on data from our YFCY survey. On the right side is the customizable version of the infographic. It can be customized to your institution's data. For more information on how to use our customizable infographic, click here
The YFCY also includes space for up to 20 institution-specific questions.
Schools participating in the YFCY receive an institutional profile, which includes your institutional results broken out by sex,
full and part-time status, comparisons with other similar institutions, significance testing, effect sizes, CIRP Constructs and Theme reports,
and a data file of your student responses. Schools using the YFCY as a post-test to the CIRP Freshman Survey will also receive a
Longitudinal Profile, which can be used to assess growth and change over the first year of college.
See the online Your First College Year Survey in action »
ADMINISTERING THE SURVEY
Administered anytime between March 1, 2013 and June 14, 2013.
The YFCY is conducted from March-June to facilitate surveying freshmen at the end of their first college year, and is offered as both a paper and a web survey. Our web portal provides greater flexibility and ease of use when managing your survey administration.
Traditionally a paper survey, the Your First College Year survey is also available as a web survey. The CIRP Web Portal (www.cirpsurveys.org) provides greater flexibility and ease of use when managing your survey administration
The Paper Survey
can be administered in the classroom, a group setting or as a mail-out survey. The most successful administration of the YFCY is in large group settings such as class meetings or first-year advising sessions. You set the delivery date and the number of questionnaires needed. Your paper survey data is available just 3 weeks after your paper questionnaires arrive for scanning.
The Web Survey
can be administered either with your campus managing the email notification process, or for ease of use, you can elect to have HERI manage the email notifications to students. A web survey can be more convenient for both you and your students. Our web portal allows you maximum flexibility in setting email notification and reminder dates, customized, "welcome" and "thank you" pages, customized email notifications, and input of additional questions. Throughout the administration, you can obtain updates on your response rate. Your survey data is available the day after a student completes the questionnaire.
The Paper & Web Survey Combination
enables your institution to enhance its response rate by using both methodologies for maximum exposure. Students may complete either version.
Web Survey Features
- HERI can send customizable email notifications (including reminders) to your students
- Customizable "Welcome" and "Thank you" Screens
- Upload your own additional questions
Upon registration, institutions are sent one bill for the participation fee. After each
institution completes their survey administration and returns the data for processing, the per-survey
processing fees are calculated and a second bill is sent to each institution for their respective
processing charges. Institutions are also billed separately for any Data Service Orders they may place,
and these bills are sent out after the completion and fulfillment of each Data Service Order.
You may cancel without penalty up to the time that the unique web log-in codes have been sent
to your institution, or distributed per your institution's direction.
If the web log-in codes have already been sent to your institution or distributed via HERI's
email distribution service to your intended survey participants, you will be charged a withdrawal
fee of $100. In addition, if HERI has provided any customized services at your request (e.g.,
incorporated on-line additional questions, etc), you will also be responsible for the full cost
of these services.