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ISU College of Engineering Climate Study

Brandi Geisinger and Mari Kemis are working with the ISU College of Engineering to evaluate the climate of the college for a diverse body of undergraduate students. To do this, RISE collaborated with a committee from the College of Engineering to determine needs and goals of the evaluation, in addition to conducting a review of the scientific literature on climate assessment measures. RISE compiled a survey instrument informed by the scientific literature (e.g., Rankin & Reason, 2008) and designed to meet the specific needs of the college. The survey focused on asking students to:

  • rate the campus climate
  • provide background information
  • provide information about their identity-based experiences on campus
  • rate their level of belonging, connectedness, and involvement on campus

This survey was distributed to all undergraduate students in the ISU College of Engineering. RISE analyzed the survey data, examining results by identity characteristics (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender, religion, parental status, sexuality, military status, etc.), as well as institutional characteristics (e.g., department in the college). To gather additional information about the specifics of students’ identity-based experiences on campus, focus groups are planned to take place with specific groups of underrepresented students. This climate study evaluation has already led to specific recommendations and actions to improve the climate in the ISU College of Engineering for a diverse body of students.

Evaluation References
Rankin, S., & Reason, R. (2008). Transformational tapestry model: A comprehensive approach to transforming campus climate. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 1(4), 262-274.