NSSE DATA USE IN BRIEF

The examples featured in this brief highlight how colleges and universities with data from the ICD module have paired their results with other student information and institutional results to inform their decision making to create more equitable campus experiences. These examples offer short descriptions to help institutions see tangible ways to engage cultural diversity data on their campus. This brief is an entry point to the data, we welcome additional stories to add to the narrative and to explore practice at different institutions.

Sharing ICD Data with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committees

Randolph-Macon established a Racial Equity and Opportunity Commission, which will use ICD data to inform its work.

Olivet College is organizing a faculty data action team to review and make recommendations for actions based on the data from NSSE and FSSE surveys, including the ICD results. So far, the results have been shared in detail with the president and some senior administrators, but the faculty team will review next, and eventually the entire faculty will have summary information and will be connected with the campus Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Complementing Campus Climate Data

St. John Fisher College plans to share ICD module results with the Provost, Deans, and School-Based Assessment Coordinators. They will review the ICD questions along with the results of their 2017 Climate Study to see where results align and confirm the need to make improvements. These comparisons will be shared with the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Diversity Programs and with the Campus Diversity Committee.

Longwood University

The Office of Multicultural Affairs at Longwood University will compare their ICD data to similar items to which students in 2018 responded through the EBI Benchworks SkyFactor Student Climate and Safety Survey. This information will be used to prioritize and inform decision items regarding programming and services.

Colby College completed a successful Campus Climate Survey in spring 2017 involving faculty, staff, and students with a 60% response rate. Forums were hosted across campus to discuss results and feedback about the Task Force on Diversity report. Results from the NSSE ICD module are being used to complement climate survey responses and better pinpoint areas for follow up or for focus group discussion.

ICD Data Sharing to Inform Improvement

Fontbonne University found its ICD results “eye opening” for gauging how well the institution is serving historically underrepresented students. Results were shared with various groups across campus, including the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, and are helping shape programming for incoming students.

Butler University

Butler University has been focusing on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) issues, support for students, and creating spaces for intentional conversations following a transition in their Diversity Center (DC). The change in leadership seemed like a good time to reexamine practices in the DC and across campus. The ICD Module and NSSE results on the Engagement Indicator Discussions with Diverse Others results have been a part of the reexamination strategy, which also included an external review of the DC, a qualitative survey for student organizations that use the DC for space, a quantitative survey for the entire campus on DC use and awareness, and administering the Diverse Learning Environments survey from HERI in 2019. Using all of these data points, and disaggregating by student characteristics, Butler has been able to develop a fuller picture of how groups of students experience the campus differently. These data were then “taken on a roadshow” around campus and presented to Cabinet, the Deans of all the Colleges, Division of Student Affairs, SGA Senate, and Unity Council, among others. Those presentations sparked discussions about how each area on campus can improve experiences for those who have not felt as included.

Nevada State College (NSC) plans to connect the data from ICD and the core NSSE survey data, with data from the NSC student information system to analyze impacts of students’ perceptions of institutions emphasis on diversity and supportive environment on preserved gains and success rates (e.g., academic standing, retention). The results will be shared with faculty, administration, and possibly with a broader audience at a national conference (e.g., AIR, RMAIR).

William Jewell College
William Jewell College commented that the ICD module aligns well with the language the institution is using in their Diversity and Inclusion efforts. ICD results were shared with the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, Associate Dean for the Core Curriculum, and Chair of the Faculty Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. These results offer baseline findings at a time when the institution is implementing a significant change to the Core Curriculum and implementing a Diversity and Inclusion Plan.

Using ICD Data in Decision Making

Fontbonne had a major and conscious shift in the demographics of the student body by changing their recruitment strategy to be more inclusive. They chose the ICD module to see if they were serving these students well and where they might improve. Results were shared with various groups across campus, which proved eye-opening. The Committee on Diversity and Inclusion then took this information and put it to use in making changes across campus. Changes were made to the mentor programs, Griffins Achieving Progress (GAP) and 1G Collective, to better reach out to incoming students, especially those students considered underrepresented, including. students of color, first-generation, and low-income students. One of the things Fontbonne found interesting in the data was that students of color felt comfortable and safe on campus but didn’t feel like part of the community. The campus has had strategic conversations on how to adjust activities and programming to make sure these programs were reaching out and including all students, especially students of color.

Efforts to ensure inclusion are an ongoing process and we hope to see improvement in our data as we move forward. 

Fontbonne University administrator

St. Francis Xavier University (StFX) in Canada is operating under a new strategic plan, and the ICD data will help support the development and implementation of various aspects of this plan. It will support a new community living plan within residence as well as inclusion initiatives through the student union.

Colorado State University is including their ICD results in general education assessment.  The campus recently re-vamped their general education program and have intentionally focused on the integration of these diversity and inclusion concepts throughout the curriculum.  Results will help CSU examine if students recognize this integration in their course work and explore is results can be correlated with larger institutional learning outcomes. Differences among student identity groups are also something that CSU will investigate.

Evidence-Based Improvement in Higher Education

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