The Culturally Engaging Campus Environments (CECE) Model is derived from three decades of published research in higher education, over 180 interviews conducted across several qualitative studies, and the findings of many quantitative analyses that examine the experiences and outcomes of diverse colleges students. It explains the ways in which campus environments shape the experiences and outcomes of diverse student populations in college.
The CECE model acknowledges that external influences (e.g., financial factors, employment, and family influences) and precollege inputs (e.g., academic preparation and academic dispositions at the time of entry) shape college success (e.g., learning, satisfaction, persistence, and degree completion) (Figure 1). However, the focal point of the CECE model emphasizes that college students’ access to culturally engaging campus environments is positively correlated with individual influences (e.g., sense of belonging, academic self-efficacy, motivation, expectation or intent to persist, and performance) on success and an increased probability of succeeding in college. The CECE model posits that undergraduates’ access to culturally engaging campus environments is directly and indirectly (via sense of belonging, academic self-efficacy, motivation, expectation or intent to persist, and performance) related to a greater likelihood of persistence (Figure 2).
Survey & Indicators
The Culturally Engaging Campus Environments (CECE) Survey is designed to measure the 9 CECE indicators that represent the characteristics of optimally inclusive and equitable campus environments. These indicators also denote the 9 elements of environments that allow diverse populations to thrive in college. College and university campuses can use the CECE Survey and these 9 CECE indicators to…
- Create dialogue that is centered on the things that matter most when serving diverse student populations.
- Diagnose their campus environments from an inclusion and equity perspective.
- Identify where these environments can be improved.
- Develop plans to cultivate more inclusive and equitable environments.
- Create environments that maximize success among all students regardless of their backgrounds and identities.
Focal Point of the CECE Model
The degree to which culturally engaging campus environments exist at postsecondary institutions is both directly and indirectly (through their impact on sense of belonging, academic dispositions, and academic performance) associated with success among their diverse student populations.
In sum, the CECE Model suggests that the greater the extent to which institutions foster and maintain culturally engaging campus environments, the more likely their environments will allow their diverse student populations to thrive in college.
Note: The figures and text for this page were adapted from Museus, S. D. (2014). The Culturally Engaging Campus Environments (CECE) Model: A new theory of college success among racially diverse student populations. In M. B. Paulsen (Ed.), Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research. New York: Springer.
Note: The CECE Survey also measures several other variables, including demographics (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, family income, parents’ education), precollege factors (e.g., academic preparation), academic dispositions (e.g., motivation, self-efficacy, intent to persist), sense of belonging, academic performance, and learning outcomes.