Office of Institutional Research
April 4, 2007
The College Student Inventory (CSI) of the Noel-Levitz
Retention Management System is a measurement tool that asks students to reflect
on academic, personal, and social experiences and perspectives. The University
of North Dakota has administered the CSI Form B to incoming freshmen during
the summer orientation since 2002 and for the following four consecutive years.
The overall number of freshmen who participated in this survey have been: 1,722
in 2002, 1,998 in 2003, 1,687 in 2004 and 1,481 in 2005 (Appendix 1). Freshmen
provide their cognitive and affective attrition indicators through the survey.
There are three CSI reports produced by Noel-Levitz. The first report is for
each individual student, second for each student’s academic advisor,
and the third is an overall institutional report.
CSI contains 100 Likert-type items. Each item uses a Likert scale of 1 to
7 with 1 equaling “Not At All True” and with 7 meaning “Completely
True”. Principal component factor extraction with Varimax rotations was
used to simplify the resulting factor structures along with maximizing the
loadings. In order to be accepted in the rotated matrix, each factor required
an eigenvalue greater than one for the determination of the common factors.
This process yielded seventeen orthogonal factors. Factor scores were generated
for these 17 variables and were converted to a standard score with a mean of
50 and a standard deviation of 10. Student responses to these items are therefore
summarized within 17 different scales (Appendix 2). To check the internal consistency
and to determine the reliability of the 100 items as a group and each of the
subscales, Cronbach’s alpha was calculated. The scales include: 1)
Study Habits, 2) Intellectual Interests, 3) Verbal Confidence, 4) Math and
Confidence, 5) Desire to Finish College, 6) Attitude Toward Educators, 7)
Sociability, 8) Family Emotional Support, 9) Opinion Tolerance, 10) Career
Sense of Financial Security, 12) Academic Assistance (receptivity), 13) Personal
Counseling (receptivity), 14) Social Enrichment (receptivity), 15) Career
Counseling (receptivity), 16) Financial Guidance (receptivity), and 17) Internal
In addition, Noel-Levitz provided UND a planning report which includes lists
of students who fall into the following categories: 1) students with high
dropout proneness, 2) who are highly receptive to institutional help, 3)
academic assistance, 4) who might benefit from personal counseling, 5) who
might benefit from career counseling, 6) who need social enhancement, and
7) who are highly receptive to institutional help of. The percentage of freshman
identified with high dropout proneness has been increasing every year until
2005 when it decreased by 6.2% (17% in 2002, 20% in 2003, 25% in 2004 and
The CSI information helps students reflect on how to maximize their college
experience, helps academic advisors equip with specific intervention strategies
(Appendix 3) and able to identify students with particular concerns and gives
the Enrollment Management team a snapshot of the first year students as a
group. The CSI also permits UND to assess incoming freshmen college preparedness,
their individual academic and personal needs and issues which students face.
Students were asked to rate 25 intervention strategies from low priority
to high priority (10). The five highest ranked strategies were: 1). Discuss
job market for college graduates (highest), 2).Discuss qualifications for
occupations, 3). Get help in selecting an occupation, 4). Get help with exam
5). Get help meeting new friends. The five lowest ranked strategies were:
1). Discuss emotional tensions with counselor (lowest), 2). Discuss dating
social life with counselor, 3). Discuss attitude toward school with counselor,
4). Discuss family problems with counselor and 5). Discuss unwanted habit
with counselor. The trends for highest priority were very similar to the
two years in the top five and also very similar for the lowest priorities.
Across the country CSI has been proven as a useful measurement tool to gather
individual information that reflects each freshman’s orientation to
college, motivation, receptivity to assistance, and subsequent retention.
get immediate intervention in specific problem areas identified by this instrument.
Intervention can be extended to all freshmen who may drop out during their
first year at college with or without displaying visible warning signs.
At UND, each college office receives their Advisor Reports along with the
Student Reports. They then proceed to distribute these reports as each office
own methods and procedures as to how best to disseminate.