Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the Catholic Identity Mission Assessment project here.
1. What is the CIMA program?
The project consists of a set of four instruments with
benchmarks that assess perceptions about Catholic campus identity by students
and alumni at several stages: (1) entering first-year students; (2) senior
undergraduates; (3) alumni (recommended for the 5th and 10th years out); and
(4) graduate and professional students. Participating institutions also will
Guide to Principles for
Institutional Assessment of Catholic Identity and Mission Achievement
CIMA instruments and the guide will add value in strategic planning and in the
2. Why should my institution participate in CIMA?
identity lies at the heart of your institution’s mission. Yet determining how
effectively a Catholic college or university conveys that mission can be
difficult — and until now, no tools have existed to facilitate that assessment.
The new Catholic Identity Mission Assessment
(CIMA) is a tool that will aid senior leadership at Catholic colleges and
universities in their efforts to demonstrate mission effectiveness. CIMA
focuses on issues unique to Catholic institutions and that closely reflect the
unique mission statements of Catholic institutions, and so will be invaluable
in your efforts in demonstrating mission effectiveness in your institution’s
3. What does CIMA measure?
No single approach to the
Catholic mission is assumed by this project
. CIMA allows you to measure
you consider the most vital indicators of your institution’s mission. Assessment topics fall into
- Catholic Social Teaching
- Catholic Intellectual Tradition
- Moral and Ethical Development
- Climate for Non-Catholics
- Inter-religious Dialogue
- Leadership, Service, and Vocation
- Religious Beliefs and Values
- Religious Practices
4. Who is CIMA for?
Presidents, mission officers, administrators, institutional researchers, and faculty will
find CIMA a unique tool to help them measure and document institutional
commitments to their Catholic mission.
5. Does the CIMA program rank institutions?
CIMA is also not
intended to compare individual institutions or aggregated reporting groups to
pre-defined standards of Catholicity. Collecting,
analyzing, and discussing the evidence are enhanced by a collective effort
shared across Catholic higher education. While clearly bringing benefits to individual campuses, the collective
nature of this shared effort also entails responsibilities for the participating
campuses, including a commitment to uphold the common good while maximizing
their own assessment endeavors. CIMA data and reports, therefore, are not
intended for comparing individual institutions to one another in any form of
ranking. Any use of the data that intentionally
or unintentionally presents such comparisons to any audience is unacceptable.
The focus on improvement efforts, therefore, should be emphasized in marketing.
6. How much does the survey cost?
The cost for administering the surveys is comparable to other national student surveys, based on full-time equivalent enrollment ranges, as shown in the chart above. In addition, a consortium fee of $1,000 will be applied when your institutions administers its first CIMA survey, with campuses having the option of spreading this one-time fee over two survey administration periods.
PRICE PER SURVEY
7. What is the process to participate?
- Click the Register Now button on the ACCU
website to pay for the one-time initial consortium fee and download the
CIMA Registration Form.
- Complete the CIMA Registration Form and submit
to ACCU via email to
- Receive an invoice from ACCU in order to pay survey
fee based on institutional FTE.
- Once the registration fees are paid, receive
notification from ACCU that registration has been activated, which includes:
a. Login instructions to your institution’s CIMA Transaction Directory in Google Drive.
b. The IP addresses that will be used to send invitations and reminders.
- Login to the Transaction Directory and download
the Panel Template for the CIMA survey for which you have registered.
Complete the Participation tab in the Panel
Template, carefully following required formats for each field and ensuring that
all required fields are completed.
If exercising the Supplemental Questions option,
read the Supplemental_Qs_Info tab and complete the Supplemental_Qs tab in the
Read the Panel_Info tab for instructions related
to uploading your Panel data.
Upload data to the Panel tab for this population
for this survey.
Review Panel tab for completeness and for
compliance with applicable requirements.
6. Rename your Panel Template so that the
Institution Short Name is in the file name.
7. Upload the completed Panel Template to your
institution’s Transaction Directory.
8. Notify the necessary personnel on your campus
which IP addresses will be used to send invitations and reminders so that they
can ensure that those addresses are not blocked from student email accounts.
9. If your institution employs any incentives for
participation, notify ACCU via e-mail at
Receive confirmation that your Panel Template
has been accepted. If there were any loading errors, the primary contact person
will be notified by DRC with specifications for which error were triggered.
If submitting the Supplemental Questions,
receive confirmation from ACCU that they have been accepted. If there were any
problems, the primary contact person will be notified by ACCU as to the nature of the problems.
In the week prior to the initial invitation
being sent to students to participate in the survey, conduct a communications
campaign with your target population to increase awareness and to encourage participation.
Monitor response rates through your Transaction
Take additional steps to encourage participation
Approximately two months after close of the
survey, receive notification that your institution’s results have been
processed and are available for download.
Login to the Transaction Directory.
Download your data file.
Download your reports.
Refer to the CIMA Data User’s Guide for
appropriate uses of your data and for suggestions related to best practices in
applying survey results to assessment efforts.
8. What is the timeline for the Spring Graduating Student Survey launch?
Registration opens (Sample File and Participation Form open)
Panels (templates) due to DRC – two weeks before launch
Earliest survey open date
Latest survey open date
Reports are processed
Reports are available for institutions