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 you have purchased so you can begin making your edits. The instructions are on page 9.
• Begin speaking to your marketing/communications department to discuss how and when to begin marketing the climate survey(s) to your campus. You are welcome to use our sample “Letter from the President,” announcing that your school is initiating a campus climate study. The more you market your survey(s), the higher the participation rates.
Step 2 – Continuing the editing process
• Work with your steering or diversity committee to begin making survey edits. After completing and sending the first round of edits to us, 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 data.
• We suggest adding a minimal number of 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 and if you plan on using focus groups as a method of gathering more information once the survey period ends.
• We add necessary 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.
Step 3 – Two weeks before your survey(s) open
• We send the survey links to your IT department to allow list (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.
• All survey edits must be finalized within 72 hours of the opening of your survey(s) or there may be a delay.
• We advise you to invite several people from each survey group to take the survey and offer any comments or suggestions. 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 other issues that may arise.
• We send you a summary data report from SurveyMonkey weekly (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 weekly reminders to people who have not completed or started the survey. By allowing us to administer your survey, we know which email addresses to include in our reminders.
• At the end of the survey period, we send a final summary data report along with the raw data in SPSS and CSV format. This is typically sent within one week after the close date.
Step 5 – Post-survey period and reporting
• We offer several custom reports for purchase that can be extremely useful in making decisions regarding where to begin making strategic short- and long-term changes to improve your campus climate. You can view sample Benchmarking and Comparison Reports at campusclimatesurveys.com/surveys.
• If you need additional consulting services, let us know and we will connect you with our partner, Segal Consulting.