9 Resources to Learn More About Campus Climate Surveys

Posted on 19 July 2016 |


student campus climate surveyCampus climate surveys are coming. It’s time to get started thinking about how you can conduct one on your campus. And if you already have one, how you can make it better to get the right information. After all, the main purpose of a climate survey is to help you measure and refine your sexual violence prevention programs.

So here are nine resources to help you learn more about campus climate surveys.

Campus Sexual Assault: The Numbers

To start, you might want to check out information that others have gathered about campus sexual assault.

The Association of American Universities (AAU) conducted a survey to learn more about sexual assault on campus. You can read the organization’s findings here. It will help you get a better idea of what’s happening on other campuses (and maybe even yours if you were a part of the survey).

Another survey from the Washington Post, also highlights the numbers when it comes to how many students (women and men) suffered sexual violence while in college.

The Need for Climate Surveys

So now that you know why campuses need to understand the numbers and attitudes surrounding campus sexual violence, it’s important to understand why a climate survey is the best tool for measuring these things.

The Department of Justice recently released: “Campus Climate Survey Validation Study (CCSVS), Final Technical Report.” The purpose of the study was to to develop and test a survey instrument and methodology that could efficiently collect valid school-level data on campus climate and sexual victimization.

While it’s a long read at about 200 pages, it’s at least worth check out the key information presented in the executive summary to understand the methodology behind campus climate surveys.

Additionally, The Center for Changing Our Campus Culture, which provides resources for colleges and universities on sexual violence prevention, summarized the CCSVS report and highlighted information that should help when conducting a climate survey on your campus.

Help Conducting the Survey

Once you establish the need for a climate survey and validation for the survey as the right method for collecting the information, the next step is to create and distribute your survey.

We recently partnered with campus safety expert, S. Daniel Carter, to write a whitepaper discussing the best practices for conducting a climate survey. In the whitepaper, you’ll find suggestions for the types of questions to ask, as well as information on why it’s important to take incident-based approach with your survey.

Notalone.gov has also put together a toolkit to help colleges and universities conduct climate surveys. The toolkit reviews everything from planning your survey down to using the data collected.

Examples Reports from Other Schools

One last thing you might want to look at before conducting your climate survey is the results of other colleges and universities’ surveys. This might help you get an idea of the data other campuses are measuring. It can also help you learn from their mistakes as well as their successes.

There are many colleges and universities that have conducted surveys, but here are just a few for you to look at.

Back in November of 2014, Indiana Universities conducted a campus climate survey, and the school has released the report and key findings.

Additionally, the University of Michigan has posted its campus climate survey results here.

Finally, Georgetown University has its findings available online, along with additional resources for those interested in learning more about the school’s methodology and results.

Help Conducting Your Campus Climate Survey

The good thing about campus climate surveys is that as more and more attention is paid to them, they will be better understood and campuses will have more resources available to help them.

For additional help conducting your campus climate survey, check out our new survey tool. And if you would like to learn more about how it can help you anonymously measure the climate at your campus, schedule a demo.

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