Next week, every NC State undergraduate and graduate student will receive an email invitation to take the 2019 Campus Climate Survey.
While taking the survey is completely optional, NC State depends on the data gathered through this effort to help understand critical priorities for the university relating to diversity, equity and inclusion.
So, we want to take a few minutes to ask our student readers to not only take the survey, but please encourage other students to also take it so we can obtain a broad sample of student perspectives and experiences and better understand what it would mean to take NC State to the next level in creating the ideal place to learn and live.
A Few Things We Learned in 2015
From the 2015 survey, we uncovered many affirming data points but also some areas to work on, for example:
- In 2015, 89% of respondents agreed that building a diverse and inclusive campus should be a key goal; however 31% feared that prioritizing diversity might lead to the admission of less-qualified students, a misconception that we must keep working to eliminate.
- In 2015, 92% of respondents indicated that their overall experience at NC State rated “excellent” or “good,” with 84% also indicating that they were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” their overall academic experience. However, 15% indicated that they “seldom” or “never” had a good support network, and 16% indicated that they “seldom” or “never” had good role models on campus.
- In 2015, 78% of respondents agreed with the statement that “Interaction with people who are different from me is an essential part of college education,” but 34% also agreed that “diversity in the curriculum detracts from important knowledge,” something that educational research does not generally support.
How We’ve Used the Data
Based on student feedback obtained in the 2015 Campus Climate survey that showed strong support for diversity events and programs for students and student organizations, we’ve continued to fund and staff our campus community centers, which have leveraged new and improved spaces and facilities to offer more collaborative and intersectional programming as well as safe spaces for students to feel welcome and supported.
We’ve also revisited NC State’s General Education Program to ensure that we have robust and appropriate offerings to satisfy the U.S. Diversity requirement. Our aim is to provide knowledge that students need and can apply throughout their journeys toward becoming responsible global citizens.
We also set in motion several long-term goals that are now starting to come to fruition. These goals include providing cultural competence training for faculty (see related article), including diversity at the highest levels of university leadership and expanding our outreach, engagement, education and communications efforts in many ways.
As we prepare to launch the 2019 Campus Climate Survey, we encourage a new generation of students to make their voices heard.
Elizabeth Snively writes for the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity.