Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the Thriving Project?

This national survey of students gathers information about their level of thriving (Schreiner, 2010), defined as engaged learning, academic determination, social connectedness, positive perspective, and diverse citizenship.  Our purpose is to identify the campus experiences that are most predictive of students gaining optimal benefits from their college experience—being fully engaged intellectually, socially, and psychologically.  Knowing which aspects of the campus experience contribute most to thriving will enable institutions to design programs and services that are tailored to meet the needs of their students most effectively.

Who is conducting this survey?

Each year since 2007, a team of researchers headed by Dr. Laurie Schreiner, Professor of Higher Education at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, CA, has conducted the Thriving Quotient in order to collect national information about student success.   The results of these surveys formed the basis for a three-part series on thriving in About Campus in 2010 and are the foundation for a new book published by the University of South Carolina Press, Thriving in Transitions: A Research-Based Approach to College Student Success (May, 2012).

What does it cost?

As this project is for research purposes, there is no cost to participate in the 2014 Thriving Project.  Each participating institution will receive a complimentary copy of the national norms and their own institution’s data in an Excel or SPSS file.  However, any comparison of your institutional results to the national norms or any target reports produced by the project staff will cost $200 for each report in order to pay the graduate assistants who will do the data analysis and report writing.

What if we want additional analyses on our students?

Additional analyses are available to compare the responses of your institution to a similar group of institutions by Carnegie classification.  You can also compare by gender, race/ethnicity, commuter status, and transfer status.  Each report produced costs $200.  Please contact Dr. Eric McIntosh ( with questions or indicate on your registration form any additional analyses you wish to request.

Do you have Institutional Review Board approval for this study?  Do I need that for my campus?

Azusa Pacific University has determined this study is exempt from full IRB review.  A copy of our IRB exemption confirmation is available on the website Your institution may or may not need you to submit an IRB proposal for approval to conduct this study on your campus; in our experience, most do not as the data are used for institutional improvement.  No student identifiers are requested in the survey, so it is completely anonymous and all the questions are benign, posing no greater risk than occurs in daily life.  No individual data will ever be reported; only grouped data will be used.  No institutions will be identified in any publications describing the study, although the list of participating institutions will be available to participants and others upon request. No data will be linked to particular institutions in any published report.

What do I need to do?

Register to participate!  You can go directly to the registration page by following this link:


Once you have registered, complete information about how to contact your students will be sent to you.  We suggest you send the survey to all students enrolled on your campus.  Each institution is responsible for sending their sophomores an e-mail containing the URL (we will send you a sample copy of an e-mail to send that contains your own specific URL).  A follow-up e-mail should be sent about a week after the initial e-mail, reminding students to go online to complete the survey. The survey takes about 20 minutes to complete.

Summary of Timeline

Step 1: Register online and complete the institutional profile that indicates your intent to participate in the study.

One week after submitting your institutional profile – you receive a sample e-mail to send your students that contains your own specific URL address for students to take the survey.  You will receive two updates on your response rates and your raw data will be available upon request when you close the survey period on your own campus

May 1 – The survey closes for the purposes of collecting the national norms

June 1 – National norms and data files sent to participating institutions

Contact Information

Dr. Eric McIntosh                                                        Dr. Laurie Schreiner

Strategic Partnerships Advisor                                    Chair, Department of Higher Education

Civitas Learning – Austin, TX                                       Azusa Pacific University                      



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