CRi Residence Insight


Breaking news from CRi:
New research methodology helps residence life teams support student success

A growing body of research shows that a good residence experience can have a positive impact on student success.

Understanding and nurturing that effect is the motivation behind Residence Insight, CRi’s specialized research product that helps institutions explore the connections between residence life and student engagement.

Smaller surveys at strategic times

Many institutions are already familiar with the ACUHO-I housing benchmarking survey from the U.S. They also know that although this survey can be useful, it is

  • not Canadian, and 
  • conducted too late in the school year to affect the success of students who respond

CRi proposes a trio of smaller surveys conducted at strategic times throughout the year. Portions of all three surveys will be syndicated, allowing institutions to benchmark their performance against other institutions as well as against their own performance from previous years. The survey format also offers each participating institution the opportunity to add a limited number of customized questions that target its unique needs. 

Student Readiness Insight 

Administered the summer before first year

Many of the problems that will affect student performance in first year can be identified before the student even sets foot on campus. At the core of this short survey is a set of 32 validated and standardized questions touching on a student’s non-cognitive skills. 

Questions cover a wide range of topics, from academic habits and confidence in secondary school and CEGEP, to stress management, making friends, managing their finances, and other important issues that can flag at-risk students. 

The main objective of the Readiness survey is to identify the non-cognitive challenges facing each new residence student so that they can be matched with the school’s existing network of programs and resources.

The survey also paints a big picture of the overall readiness of the incoming first-year residents. Responses to the core survey questions are aggregated and used for comparison purposes, either with other schools or with previous first-year classes. Schools also have the option to add a limited number of custom questions.

Because the programs and resources available for intervention at each school are different, this survey’s outcome and reporting can be customized for each institution.

Transition Insight

Administered four weeks into first term

This survey, conducted soon after orientation, looks at the progress of each student resident’s adjustment to the very new environment of a university or college campus and residence. The goal is to measure the sense of connectedness students are developing to the campus and their academic responsibilities, as well as their awareness of the services and resources that can help them develop positive habits for success. 

Psychological research on first-year students suggests that there is a maturation tipping point four to six weeks into the school year; Students either begin to embrace their independence and responsibilities with confidence or they start a downward spiral that often ends with dropping out. 

While this survey aggregates data for anonymous institutional comparisons, it also provides each participant with an opportunity to have their responses reviewed by an advisor. In this way, the survey identifies students who may need help at a critical time and through an introspective exercise.

Questions cover topics such as the orientation experience, academic responsibilities, safety and security, drug and alcohol use, socialization, homesickness and levels of general satisfaction. 

Satisfaction Insight

Administered after the start of second term

This survey is undertaken in late January or February, when students are beyond the “discovery” phase and well into their first-year experience. It is intended to measure the sense of engagement a student has been able to establish with the academic and social sides of the school through the lens of the residence experience. The format resembles a more typical residence satisfaction survey, asking respondents to evaluate the building, services, personnel, programming and other aspects of residence life. The syndicated results will be available for benchmarking. 

Survey questions will also explore the connection between the residence experience and student success. The results will help residence managers understand the facilities and dynamics that enhance the educational value of student accommodation, and help them improve their residence operations.


Residence programming

CRi helps schools respond to issues identified in research with programs that infuse academic goals into the residence experience. 

To find out more about Residence Management Planning session contact Kirk Kelly or call 514-488-7987

CRi offers a range of research and consulting services to address many of the challenges in post-secondary education:

  • Generating revenue

  • Improving campus culture

  • Forecasting residence demand

  • Delivering quality services

  • Engaging students and employees

  • Analyzing markets and competition

  • Raising the effectiveness of courses with online learning

For more information about our services, contact Kirk Kelly or call 514-488-7987