The following standards have been extracted for purposes of inquiry into university infrastructures, which often affect campus climates and achievement of diversity-related accreditation criteria. The information extracted was carefully considered in terms of meeting accountability, resource allocation and impact on community behaviors and perceptions of campus success.

Viewfinder® Campus Climate Surveys capture the essence of these standards through strategic inquiry to students, faculty, staff and administrators. Use of our surveys will help provide a more accurate snapshot of current campus climate conditions, and will illuminate and link infrastructures to policy and practice underpinnings that affect an institution’s ability to warm its climate from its present state.

You are encouraged to browse the information below as well as view our Viewfinder® survey sample questions to experience how these standards are presented via our survey inquiry.

Standard I – Mission and Goals
The institution’s mission defines its purpose within the context of higher education, the students it serves, and what it intends to accomplish. The institution’s stated goals are clearly linked to its mission and specify how the institution fulfills its mission.

An accredited institution possesses and demonstrates the following attributes or activities:

  1. Clearly defined mission and goals that are developed through appropriate collaborative participation by all who facilitate or are otherwise responsible for institutional development and improvement; are publicized and widely known by the institution’s internal stakeholders;
  1. Institutional goals that are realistic, appropriate to higher education, and consistent with mission;
  1. Goals that focus on student learning and related outcomes and on institutional improvement; are supported by administrative, educational, and student support programs and services; and are consistent with institutional mission;
  1. Periodic assessment of mission and goals to ensure they are relevant and achievable;

Ethics and Integrity

  1. A climate that fosters respect among students, faculty, staff, and administration from a range of diverse backgrounds, ideas, and perspectives;
  1. A grievance policy that is documented and disseminated to address complaints or grievances raised by students, faculty, or staff. e institution’s policies and procedures are fair and impartial, and assure that grievances are addressed promptly, appropriately, and equitably;
  1. Fair and impartial practices in the hiring, evaluation, promotion, discipline, and separation of employee;
  1. Honesty and truthfulness in public relations announcements, advertisements, recruiting and admissions materials and practices, as well as in internal communications;

Standard III – Design and Delivery of the Student Learning Experience

  1. At institutions that offer undergraduate education, a general education program, free standing or integrated into academic disciplines;
  • Offers a sufficient scope to draw students into new areas of intellectual experience, expanding their cultural and global awareness and cultural sensitivity, and preparing them to make well-reasoned judgments outside as well as within their academic field;
  • Offers a curriculum designed so that students acquire and demonstrate essential skills including at least oral and written communication, scientific and quantitative reasoning, critical analysis and reasoning, technological competency, and information literacy. Consistent with mission, the general education program also includes the study of values, ethics, and diverse perspectives;

Standard IV – Support of the Student Experience

  1. Clearly stated, ethical policies and processes to admit, retain, and facilitate the success of students whose interests, abilities, experiences, and goals provide a reasonable expectation for success and are compatible with institutional mission, including:
  • A process by which students who are not adequately prepared for study at the level for which they have been admitted are identified, placed, and supported in attaining appropriate educational goals;
  • Orientation, advisement, and counseling programs to enhance retention and guide students throughout their educational experience;
  1. If offered, athletic, student life, and other extracurricular activities that are regulated by the same academic, fiscal, and administrative principles and procedures that govern all other programs;

Standard V – Educational Effectiveness Assessment

  1. Organized and systematic assessments, conducted by faculty and/or appropriate professionals, evaluating the extent of student achievement of institutional and degree/program goals. Institutions should:
  • Articulate how they prepare students in a manner consistent with their mission for successful careers, meaningful lives, and, where appropriate, further education. They should collect and provide data on the extent to which they are meeting these goals;

Standard VI – Planning, Resources, and Institutional Improvement

  1. Well-defined decision-making processes and clear assignment of responsibility and accountability;

Standard VII – Governance, Leadership, and Administration

  1. A Chief Executive Officer who:
  • has appropriate credentials and professional experience consistent with the mission of the organization;
  • has the assistance of qualified administrators, sufficient in number, to enable the Chief Executive Officer to discharge his/her duties effectively; and is responsible for establishing procedures for assessing the organization’s efficiency and effectiveness;

For more information, visit: