Alexander C. McCormick Profile Image
Alexander C. McCormick
Associate Professor and Director, National Survey of Student Engagement
Eigenmann Hall Room 440
Phone : (812) 856-5824
Send me an e-mail
Department:  Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
Affiliations:  Center for Postsecondary Research, Higher Education & Student Affairs , Education Policy Studies
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Vita:  Click to View


I direct the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), housed in the Center for Postsecondary Research. NSSE seeks to enrich the national discourse about quality and accountability in higher education, while also providing institutions with tools to diagnose and improve undergraduate teaching and learning. In the HESA program, I teach a doctoral course on higher education organization and administration, a course on higher education and public policy, and a topical seminar on student engagement research. My research interests focus on quality and evidence-informed improvement in higher education.

Prior to joining Indiana University, I served as Senior Scholar at The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, where I directed a major overhaul of the Foundation's widely-used Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. (The Carnegie Classification is now housed at IU under Prof. Vic Borden's leadership.)

I previously worked for an educational research consulting group analyzing national data on postsecondary education, served in student affairs as an assistant dean, and worked in undergraduate admissions.


  • Ph.D. Education (minor: sociology), 1996, Stanford University, Stanford CA
  • A.M. Educational Administration and Policy Analysis, 1993, Stanford University, Stanford CA
  • A.B. French, 1980, Dartmouth College, Hanover NH




  • McCormick, A.C. (2008). The complex interplay between classification and ranking of colleges and universities: Should the Berlin principles apply equally to classification" Higher Education in Europe 33: 210-218.
  • McCormick, A. C. (2010). Heres looking at you: Transparency, institutional self-presentation, and the public interest. Change 42(6): 35-42.
  • Coates, H. McCormick, A. C. (Eds.) (2014). Engaging university students: International insights from system-wide studies. Singapore: Springer.
  • McCormick, A. C. (2009). Toward reflective accountability: Using NSSE for accountability and transparency. In R. M. Gonyea G. D. Kuh, (Eds.), Using NSSE in institutional research. New Directions for Institutional Research 141: 97-106.
  • McCormick, A. C. (2013) Classifying higher education institutions: Lessons from the Carnegie Classification. Pensamiento Educativo: Revista de Investigacin Educacional Latinoamericana, 50(1), 65-75.
  • McCormick, A. C., Moore, J. V. III, Kuh, G. D. (2010). Working during college: Its relationship to student engagement and education outcomes. In L. W. Perna (Ed.), Understanding the working college student. Sterling, VA: Stylus.
  • Nelson Laird, T. F., Sullivan, D. F., Zimmerman, C. McCormick, A. C. (2011). STEM/Non-STEM differences in engagement at US institutions. Peer Review, 13(3), 23-26.
  • Rocconi, L. M., Lambert, A. D., McCormick, A. C., Sarraf, S. A. (2013). Making college count: An investigation of quantitative reasoning activities in higher education. Numeracy 6(2) Article 10. Available at:
  • McCormick, A. C. McClenney, K. (2012). Will these trees ever bear fruit" A response to the special issue on student engagement. Review of Higher Education, 35, 307-333.
  • Bureau, D. A., Cole, J. S., McCormick, A. C. (2014). Frequent participation in service-learning: Examining institutional differences and individual benefits. In D. G. Terkla L. OLeary (Eds.), Assessing civic engagement. New Directions for Institutional Research 162, 17-27.
  • Pike, G. R., Kuh, G. D., McCormick, A. C. (2011). An investigation of the contingent relationships between learning community participation and student engagement. Research in Higher Education, 52, 300-322.
  • McCormick, A. C. (2011). Its about time: What to make of reported declines in how much college students study. Liberal Education, 97(1), 30-39.
  • Lichtenstein, G., McCormick, A. C., Sheppard, S. D., Puma, J. (2010). Comparing the undergraduate experience of engineers to all other majors: Significant differences are programmatic. Journal of Engineering Education 99(4), 305-317.
  • McCormick, A. C., Kinzie, J., Gonyea, R. M. (2013). Student engagement: Bridging research and practice to improve the quality of undergraduate education. In M. B. Paulsen (Ed.), Higher education: Handbook of theory and research, vol. 28, pp. 47-92. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.
  • Hu, S. McCormick, A. C. (2012). An engagement-based student typology and its relationship to college outcomes. Research in Higher Education, 53, 738-754.
  • McCormick, A.C., Pike, G.R., Kuh, G.D. Chen, P.D. (2009). Comparing the utility of the 2000 and 2005 Carnegie Classification systems in research on students college experiences and outcomes. Research in Higher Education 50(2):144-167.
  • McCormick, A. C., Gonyea, R. M., Kinzie, J. (2013). Refreshing engagement: NSSE at 13. Change 45(3), 6-15.
  • Pike, G. R. Kuh, G. D., McCormick, A. C., Ethington, C. A., Smart, J. C. (2011). If and when money matters: The relationships among educational expenditures, student engagement and students learning outcomes. Research in Higher Education, 52, 81-106.
  • Hu, S., McCormick, A. C., Gonyea, R. M. (2012). Examining the relationship between student learning and persistence. Innovative Higher Education 37, 387-395.


  • ACPA: Editorial board member, Journal of College Student Development
  • National Academy of Sciences: Planning committee member, NAS Workshop on Quality in the Undergraduate Experience
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