

How to Read the CIRP Theme Reports 

















Theme Description – Provides a brief definition of the
topics covered by the theme.
Summarized Frequencies – Full results for all
items are provided in the Institutional Profile Report.
Mean – The arithmetic
mean is computed for each survey item based on the response options. Response
options are given numeric values and are listed in descending order (i.e.,
5=Much Stronger, 4=Stronger, 3=No Change, 2=Weaker, 1=Much Weaker). 

CIRP Surveys are
comprehensive, covering a wide range of topics that research has shown are
impacted by the college experience. Theme reports combine relevant items
together for easy access. By examining these items together, these reports
illustrate what contributes to specific areas of interest on campus and to
facilitate discussion on your campus. Although the survey items were included
because they relate to the theme, the item(s) may not be the most important
to your institution, its mission, programs, or goals. We encourage you to
review your entire Institutional Profile for additional results of specific
interest on your campus. Theme reports are generated for graduating seniors,
defined as those respondents who indicated that they will have earned a
bachelor's degree as of June 2017. 

Comp 1 – The first comparison group is based on your
institution's type and control.
Comp 2 – The second
comparison group is based on a similar grouping of institution type and
control.
Standard Deviation – Measures the variability
around the mean. A small standard deviation indicates that the responses to
the item tend to be very close to the mean, whereas a large standard
deviation indicates that the responses are spread over a larger range of
response options. 













Academic Outcomes illustrates changes to
academic skills and abilities during college and how students’ academic
skills compare to their peers.
See also  CIRP Construct: Academic Disengagement, Faculty Interaction:
Mentorship, Civic Awareness, Academic SelfConfidence; CIRP Theme: Active
and Collaborative Learning, Academic Enhancement Experiences, Written and
Oral Communication. 
















Total 
Men 
Women 


Sample University 
Your Inst 
Comp 1 
Comp 2 
Your Inst 
Comp 1 
Comp 2 
Your Inst 
Comp 1 
Comp 2 


Ability to
think critically
Much Stronger
/ Stronger 
67.9% 
62.3% 
72.0% 
69.3% 
67.2% 
76.4% 
67.1% 
60.0% 
69.5% 


Mean 
3.82 
3.76 
3.92 
3.87 
3.83 
4.03 
3.79 
3.72 
3.86 


Standard Deviation 
0.68 
0.73 
0.75 
0.71 
0.75 
0.77 
0.66 
0.72 




 
** 
*** 
 

*** 
 
** 
** 


Effect Size 
 
0.08 
0.13 
 

0.21 
 
0.10 
0.10 


Note: Significance *
p<.05, ** p<.01, *** p<.001 














Statistical Significance – Uses the ttest to examine
the difference between the mean score for your institution and the comparison
group. Items with mean differences that are larger than would be expected by
chance are noted with one, two, or three stars, which correspond to the three
standard levels of significance (*p< .05, **p< .01, and ***p< .001).
Statistical significance measures the extent to which a difference is
occurring by chance, not the extent to which a difference is important. Large
sample sizes (like those in the comparison groups) tend to generate
statistical significance even though the magnitude of the difference may be
small and not practically significant. In order to provide additional context
to statistical significance, effect sizes are provided. 
Effect Size – Determines the practical significance of
the mean difference between your institution and the comparison group. It is
calculated by dividing the mean difference by the standard deviation of the
comparison group. Generally, an effect size of .2 is considered small, .5
medium, and .8 large. A positive sign indicates that your institution’s mean
is greater than the mean of the comparison group; a negative sign indicates
your mean is smaller than the mean of the comparison group. Note that a
negative effect size is sometimes preferred (e.g., a negative effect size on
"Since entering college, how often have you felt unsafe on this campus”
suggests fewer students at your institution reported this was the case). 














