NC State Set to Launch Campus Climate Survey

Student looking at phone

NC State conducts a campus climate survey every five years, and the next one will launch on September 25, 2019 for both undergraduate and graduate students. As we continuously seek to develop and improve a positive, welcoming culture at NC State, we need your voice to help us do that.

What is a campus climate survey, you ask? No, it’s not anything to do with weather.

The 2019 Campus Climate Survey will cover topics such as satisfaction with various aspects of being an NC State student, interactions with others on campus, participation in multicultural activities and perceptions about the role of higher education.

Even further, the survey asks participants to “reflect on experiences that have shaped their attitudes about diversity, and for their perceptions of how supportive the campus environment is for diversity in general and for traditionally underrepresented groups in particular.”

Regardless of your past participation or interest in these areas, we need the participation of all students so that we can in turn best help the university by targeting areas that need improvement based on the survey results.

Why Assess NC State’s Campus Climate?

In recent years, campus climate surveys have become widespread, occurring at most large universities. In 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice published “Best Practices: Campus Climate Surveys” to help guide institutions in their creation and administration following the recommendation of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault in 2014. Further, many institutions have conducted climate surveys following negatively-charged campus events.

But, did you know that NC State has been administering the surveys since 2004? You can review the published results from 2004, 2010 and 2015.

In addition, as NC State prepares to undertake a new strategic planning process, input from this assessment will be key in shaping the initiatives and direction of university programs, resources and initiatives for years to come.

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) cites the assessment of campus climate as a key part of the successful academic environment and as one component of developing personal and social responsibility among students. “Although there is little empirical evidence to connect campus climate directly to students’ learning and developmental outcomes—or, more specifically, to the development of personal and social responsibility—the existing research strongly suggests that campus climate can support or impede student outcomes,” writes educator Robert D. Reason on behalf of the AAC&U.

Concluding that a positive campus climate supports academic outcomes in addition to attracting and retaining students, the AAC&U supports periodic climate assessments as an important means of understanding student perceptions and experiences.

How Can You Help?

Help spread the word so we can achieve an excellent level of participation. So much is at stake. With robust results, we will have the information we need to prepare the right programs to help our students succeed.

Elizabeth Snively writes for the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity.