Catholic Identity Mission Assessment

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, is 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 distinctive value to the student experience by conducting pointed surveys within four primary student and alumni demographics.

CIMA aims to produce questions and guidelines to provide direction for any Catholic college or university engaged in assessing the effective articulation of Catholic identity. No single approach to the Catholic mission is assumed by this project. Given the diversity within our community of schools, no single strategy can apply to every aspect of Catholic identity in depth. Catholic institutions of higher education do share many challenges in assessing mission, however, and the development of a set of solid principles and tools provided by CIMA can be of great value to many ACCU members. The CIMA instruments are designed to highlight areas that are perceived by students and alumni to have been the most and least impactful over their time at the institution, assisting the mission office, campus ministry, and student affairs in annual planning and budgeting. The data collected from CIMA will help guide strategic planning, inform general education curriculum review, and support accreditation self-studies.

The first phase of the project, the administration of the first-year undergraduate student survey, will launch in fall 2017. We hope you will consider joining this endeavor to strengthen Catholic identity across the board. In addition, we are currently looking for individuals to review the content of the accompanying institutional assessment principles. If you would like to begin the registration process for your campus, volunteer as a reviewer, or have any further questions, please contact Lexie Bradley at or (202) 457-0650, ext. 224.

Learn More About the Survey
Institutional Assessment Principles


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