Calvin College CIRP Freshman Survey Title

About the CIRP

The CIRP Survey is a longitudinal study conducted by the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI), based in the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. CIRP is an acronym for the Cooperative Institutional Research Program, which began in 1966 at the American Council on Education.

Companion survey instruments, Your First College Year (YFCY) and the College Student Survey (CSS), are also coordinated through HERI. These surveys, when used in conjunction with the Freshman survey, allow colleges to investigate changes and growth in students over time and are useful for assessing a variety of student outcomes.

Click here for a copy of the 2009 version of the CIRP Freshman Survey.


Calvin and CIRP

Calvin's participation in CIRP began in 1967 and we have participated every year except one, 1979, for a total of 38 years of survey data. Likely, many of the alumni parents of present Calvin students took the CIRP when they were first-time students in the 60s, 70s or 80s!

Comparison Groups

Each year Calvin receives a report summarizing our student responses along with comparison data from schools similar to Calvin. Calvin is compared with a group of schools called "Other Religious Four-Year Colleges" (formerly called "Protestant Four-Year Colleges). These schools focus primarily on undergraduate education and are distinguished by their formal ties (or historical ties) to a Protestant denomination or religious sect.

Other school categories used by CIRP for comparison purposes include Non-Sectarian Four-Year Colleges, Catholic Four-Year Colleges, Public Four-Year Colleges, Public Universities, Private Universities, Historically Black Colleges, and Two-Year Colleges. Schools in many of these categories are also separated by selectivity. Thus, Calvin is also compared with more highly selective Other Religious Four-Year Colleges.

In recent years, Calvin has also participated in a Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) cooperative project, called the Comprehensive Assessment Project, which provides us with comparative CIRP data on students entering CCCU institutions.