Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities > Mission & Identity > Catholic Identity & Mission Assessment
Vision and Voice for Catholic Higher Education      Learn More




The New Student Survey
opens on
August 3!







Assessment Principles




Catholic Identity & Mission Assessment

Data and insight to give you the edge


Our institutions have changed over the years in response to student needs, social trends, and changes in college and university staffing. With these adjustments comes the question of whether and how Catholic identity, as well as the charism of the founding and sponsoring group, are expressed on campus and assimilated by students.

In order to address these questions, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, in conjunction with the Catholic Higher Education Research Cooperative (CHERC) and a selected group of experts from ACCU member campuses, has developed the Catholic Identity & Mission Assessment (CIMA) project. CIMA will help ACCU member institutions understand how Catholic higher education adds distinct value to the student experience by conducting pointed surveys within four primary student and alumni demographics.


"I know of no other tool as comprehensive and mission-focused as this one.”

— Alicia Cordoba Tait, D.M.A., Beirne Director of the Center for Catholic Studies and Professor of Music, St. Mary's University (TX)

Interested in Having Your Institution Participate? It’s Easy!

To participate in CIMA, fill out the registration form and then pay your initial, one-time consortium fee. This fee activates your CIMA account and enables you to access any available survey. You will receive access to the “Welcome to CIMA” webpage and information on how to access your Google Drive shared folder, where all CIMA information is exchanged. You can take this initial step at any time throughout the calendar year.

We hope you will consider joining this endeavor to strengthen Catholic identity on your campus. If you have any questions, please contact Rebecca Sawyer






"The CIMA suite comes closer than anything else to providing Catholic institutions with valid insights into the elusive and even ineffable dimensions of mission."

— Mark Gunty, Ph.D., Office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Research and Department of Sociology, University of Notre Dame


Why sign up for CIMA?

  • The CIMA instruments and the guide add value in strategic planning and in the accreditation process.
  • CIMA allows you to measure what you consider the most vital indicators of your institution’s mission.
  • Presidents, mission officers, administrators, institutional researchers, and faculty will find CIMA a unique tool to help them measure and document institutional commitments to Catholic mission.


Download the CIMA brochure


More helpful Info:

Catholic Identity and Mission Assessment: Results from the Field was presented at the 2019 ACCU Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. The presentation materials provide a good overview of the program and examples of how two institutions used the data, providing an excellent resource for those institutions still considering becoming a CIMA institution.

Learn More About CIMA



Survey Instruments

CIMA consists of four related surveys, each focused on a particular population


Read answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about CIMA

Institutional Assessment Principles

CIMA engages with a number of the ways in which institutions express their Catholic identity