We know that many who chair campus climate survey committees have probably never been through this process before. An institution may be administering a campus climate survey for the first time, or it may have been many years since the last one was completed.
Therefore, you expect and rely on the company that you contract with to have the expertise you are looking for in order to make this process as seamless and stress free as possible. You want the highest response rates possible, but expect information and data you collect that is accurate and useful.
That’s why it’s so important that our surveys have been tested for reliability. We don’t just ask if deficiencies exist, but what they are in order to be able to use your results to make impactful changes to your campus culture. After all, you can’t heal someone who is sick if you don’t know the symptoms.
Other survey companies may assign someone to work with you who may have little to no familiarity with the objectives of a campus climate survey or may have no expertise in diversity and inclusion in higher education. Our owner, Lenore Pearlstein, however, is also the owner and publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine — the oldest, largest, and only remaining print magazine in higher education focused solely on diversity, equity, and inclusion. She is also the creator of the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, the only national application-based award for colleges and universities truly committed to these values across their campuses. Her expertise in this field stands out!
Below is an outline of the Viewfinder® process, from contract signing to the post-survey period. We hope you find this information useful in your planning.
Step 1 – Begin the survey process
• Sign a contract with Campus Climate Surveys, LLC.
• We send you a PDF of each Viewfinder survey purchased so you can begin making your edits.
• We send you our Welcome Package with several information forms to fill out.
• We send you a sample “Letter from the President,” announcing that your school is initiating a campus climate survey.
• We send you a custom timeline so you can stay on track and be ready when your survey(s) open.
Step 2 – Continuing the editing process
• You work with your steering or diversity committee to begin making survey edits. After completing and sending the first round of edits to our company, we will return the updated surveys for you to review and test.
• You may continue to edit the surveys until satisfied with the content and flow of questions. We may also send suggestions or comments regarding your edits to ensure that the survey questions continue to give you reliable and valuable responses.
• We may also suggest adding comment boxes to questions throughout your survey(s). We know through our years of experience that respondents appreciate the opportunity to give additional feedback. The comments can be extremely helpful to your institution when interpreting the data.
Step 3 – Several weeks before your survey(s) open
• We send the survey links to your IT department to whitelist. We want to be sure that survey invitations do not go to spam or junk mail folders.
• We request a list of email addresses (no other identifying information) for those people you would like to invite to take each survey.
• We send you our standard email invitation to edit or use as is.
• We finalize your survey edits.
• We add any language to the end of the survey(s) regarding incentives you may be offering. We also advise you on setting up an incentive webpage on your institutional website.
• We advise you to invite several people from each survey group to take the survey and offer any comments or suggestions, similar to focus groups. This process will inevitably keep you from avoiding many issues and concerns once the survey period opens.
Step 4 – The survey period
• We monitor your survey(s) from the day it opens to check for response rates, bounced email invitations, and any issues that may arise.
• We send you a data report at least once a week (additional reports will be sent upon request) that shows how many responses you have received and what the responses are. We also help determine if there is any additional outreach that is necessary to encourage survey participation.
• We send out weekly reminders to people who have either not completed their survey (our surveys allow you to save them and finish at another time) or have yet to participate
• At the end of the survey period, we send a final summary data report along with the raw data in SPSS and/or Excel format. This is typically sent within three business days after the survey’s close date.
Step 5 – Post-survey period and reporting
Most colleges and universities have research departments to extrapolate survey data and produce reports. Many even make the data available to faculty for research purposes. However, this process can take months or even years to accomplish because these departments are so inundated with other tasks.
We offer several reports for purchase that can be extremely useful in making decisions about where to begin making strategic short- and long-term changes to improve your campus climate.