The American College Health Association National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA) is a nationally recognized research survey that can assist post-secondary institutions in collecting precise data about students’ health habits, behaviours, and perceptions, providing a comprehensive picture of students' health.
The purpose of ACHA-NCHA is to support the health of the campus community by fulfilling the academic mission, supporting short- and long-term healthy behaviours, and gaining a current profile of health trends within the campus community.
In a recent report (2013), aggregate data encompassing post-secondary student in Alberta was collected through 4 post-secondary institutions. This information provides an extensive amount of data on the state of students health, mental health, addictions, sexual behaviour, and nutrition. This data demonstrates a clear need for support to students.
ACHA-NCHA data is being collected throughout Canada and the USA, and has demonstrated that it is an effective tool in measuring students' health. Post-secondary institutions are encouraged to use this tool as a means of assessing their students' health and to be able to use their data to contribute to national and international dialogues on the tool and student health.
The primary purpose, surveying method, sample size, target population, and time period is determined by the post-secondary institution. Institutions can choose to conduct surveys on paper or online and whether to administer the survey in the spring or fall. The NCHA does not place a burden on students, as it is simple, easy to complete, and can be distributed in several ways convenient to a busy student’s schedule. The survey takes about 30 minutes to complete. The survey is completely confidential — students’ email addresses or names are never attached to their responses.
If your SA or institution would like to learn more about the survey for use on your campus, please check out the websites linked below. If you are interested in learning more about the Alberta reports and data, please contact me at Jessica@albertastudents.ca.