2022 NCHA Survey Pre-Analysis Plan

The goal of this pre-analysis plan is to specify, before any data collection or analysis, the approach OADS will take in analyzing results of the American College Health Association (ACHA) National College Health Assessment (NCHA) survey. The NCHA survey will be administered in February 2022 to a sample of Georgetown undergraduate and graduate students. This survey is web-based, and will be administered by NCHA directly.

A PDF version of this plan is also available for download.


The National College Health Assessment (NCHA) is a nationally recognized research survey intended to assist college health service providers, health educators, counselors, and administrators in collecting data about their students’ habits, behaviors, and perceptions on the most prevalent health topics. More than 1.4 million students from 930+ colleges and universities have taken this survey since 2000. Georgetown University undergraduates participated in this survey in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2017. New in 2022, Georgetown University graduate students at the Main Campus and in GUMC (NHS and BGE [Nursing and Health Studies and Biomedical Graduate Education]) will take the survey. Data gathered from Georgetown’s survey will enable the university to gain a better understanding of overall student health, habits, and behaviors on campus to allow for informed programming and services. The project was submitted to Georgetown’s Institutional Review Board and received exemption status.

Survey Administration


This survey will utilize the ACHA-NCHA III instrument, which includes the following sections:

  • Overall Health and Community
  • COVID-19
  • Weight, Nutrition, and Exercise
  • USDA Food Security
  • Sleep
  • Safety
  • Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST)
  • Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs
  • Sexual Health
  • Diener Flourishing Scale – Psychological Well-Being (PWB)
  • Mental Health
  • Services Used
  • Medical
  • Chronic Conditions
  • Impediments to Academic Performance
  • Demographic Characteristic


A random sample of students will be selected and invited to take the survey, using the following criteria:

  • All active degree-seeking students (in-person and in online programs) enrolled:
    • Undergrads: 60% sample
    • Graduate Students (except for BGE and NHS): 60% sample
    • BGE and NHS Graduate Students: 100% sample

Excluded from the sample are students from GU-Q, the Law Center, and the School of Medicine, as well as students on leave in Spring 2022, and non-degree students. .


Responses to the survey are confidential; we will not promise anonymity. The sample is drawn with students’ email addresses to allow NCHA to contact students, and there is an incentive offered for participation. Therefore, NCHA will initially know who participates only for incentive selection. All identifying data will be destroyed immediately after incentive recipients are identified. Responses will never be identified in published results, and any potentially-identifying data sets will never be shared outside of OADS. NCHA includes a consent form explaining that the survey is confidential and participation is voluntary.


As an incentive to participate, students who complete the survey will be entered to win one of ten $100 Amazon gift cards ($1,000 total incentive budget).

Timeline for Administration and Communication Plan

Below is the proposed timeline for administration in Spring 2022:

  • Initial preview communication begins: January 2022
  • Survey launch: Monday, 2/7/22
  • Reminder sent: Thursday, 2/10/22
  • Second reminder: Tuesday 2/15/22
  • Final reminder (targeted): Tuesday 2/22/22
  • Survey close: Thursday, 3/3/22

Starting in mid-January 2022, select Georgetown representatives will send out preview communication to students, informing them of the upcoming survey and its importance. On 2/7/22, the sample of students will receive an initial invitation from NCHA to take the online survey via email, followed by two reminders from NCHA and additional, targeted reminders to subgroups of non-responders.

Reporting of Results and Analysis


Deliverables of the survey analysis will include the following:

  1. A detailed report will be prepared for key internal stakeholders as determined by the principal investigator. The report will include descriptive statistics and detailed analysis with inferential statistics. This report will also utilize previous NHCA data, where applicable, to report on trends with any comparable questions from the previous instrument. Due to the potentially-sensitive nature of the data, this comprehensive report is not meant for sharing outside of key leaders.
  1. OADS will prepare a series of key findings reports with infographics that can be shared on a wider scale within the Georgetown community. These reports will include a selection of key survey items to be determined by the survey planning group. OADS will be available to present data directly to students in a series of discussion sessions or town halls.
  1. OADS will publish data on a public webpage that describes the survey, the administration, and selected overall statistics that the planning group is open to sharing publicly. The planning group and principal investigator will discuss and approve these data before release. This webpage will also include instructions for how to inquire about additional data.

Points of Disaggregation

In the detailed reports on the NCHA survey results, we will include various points of disaggregation where appropriate (if sufficient respondent numbers allow), including the following:

  • Demographic characteristics: Gender, Sexual Orientation, Race and Ethnicity
  • Academic characteristics: School, Undergrad/Graduate status, Class Year (for undergraduates), Online/In-Person status

Additional Analysis Parameters

  • For all reports produced based on this survey, any cell size less than 5 will be masked to maintain confidentiality of respondents.
  • No individual responses will be disclosed in any reports.
  • All statistical tables will include question and construct descriptions, count/percentage (or mean), and standard errors (or, in some cases, 95% confidence intervals).

Weighting Strategy

OADS will conduct an analysis to determine if weighting the survey results is necessary. We will review variables that are relevant to the survey areas of focus, including gender, race, citizenship, degree type, and class year.  Based on the analysis, we will determine what weighting scheme (if any) is appropriate to best present the results. We will not weight the results unless we have evidence it is needed.

Follow Up Analysis Considerations

OADS will consider requests for follow-up or ad-hoc analysis once the University-wide infographic reports and public website have been released. All guidelines and methodological considerations described previously will apply to these follow-up requests. Additional requests for analysis will be reviewed as they are received by the planning group.

Proposed Timeline for Survey Analysis

Below is a preliminary timeline for the NCHA survey analysis.  Dates are subject to change and are provided as a guide for planning purposes only.

Target DateGoal
January 2022Begin preview communication
February 7, 2022Survey Launches
February 10-22, 2022Reminders sent, according to communication plan
March 3, 2022Survey closes
September 2022Final internal stakeholder report with benchmark data shared
Fall 2022OADS to produce four infographic results
Fall 2022Public website with NCHA details published