The JSU ADVANCE program was designed to examine and subsequently transform the university community into a space that fosters an ongoing commitment to inclusion, mentoring, leadership development, bias-free practices and policies, and intentional attention to the factors that influence the recruitment, retention, and career advancement of underrepresented women in STEM and SBS disciplines. One essential tool in fostering institutional transformation was the JSU ADVANCE Campus Climate Study. The Campus Climate Study at JSU was one of only a few such endeavours in the nation that sought to collect and analyze data regarding the climate for women of color at an HBCU. Similar to other climate studies, the JSU ADVANCE Climate Study helped to identify several key areas of institutional climate that make the campus community an equitable an inclusive work place.
The Climate Study was conducted to help identify target areas in need of transformation (pre-intervention survey) and to examine the impact of the JSU ADVANCE program on the climate and culture at JSU (post-intervention survey).
The climate study included STEM female and male faculty, instructors, and administrators, as well as non-STEM faculty, instructors, and administrators. In order to compare the climate and culture throughout the campus, faculty and administrators from all academic colleges and units were invited to participate.
- To understand how women and men in the faculty experience their working environment at JSU.
- Accumulate relevant data that explore the unique workplace dynamics that are faced by women faculty, especially those of color, with a particular focus on their relationship with male colleagues and administrators.
- Collect and analyse data that help identify work-related challenges.
- Communicate to the campus community result of the campus climate in order to foster increased awareness and dialogue that promotes increased understanding and sensitivity.
- Provide administrators with research based recommendations for faculty support and faculty development initiatives that address areas of concern identified in the climate study.
Development and revision of a JSU ADVANCE Campus Climate Study Instrument (2010 – 2011)
JSU Campus Climate Survey (Part 1) – 2012
JSU Campus Climate Survey (Part II) – 2016
External Consultant – Reanalysis of Campus Climate Part I and Analysis of Campus Climate Part II (May – July, 2017)
The overall impact of the JSU ADVANCE Institutional Transformation initiatives was measured using a large scale institutional climate survey (administered in 2012 and 2017). The comparative study results revealed that the JSU ADVANCE intervention program achieved its program goals and objectives between 2012 – 2017.
COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE 2012-2017 CAMPUS CLIMATE SURVEY
The JSU ADVANCE Campus Climate Survey was completed by 234 faculty/administrators in 2012 and 146 faculty/administrators in 2017. Based on these responses eighteen survey questions (with a subset of 44-questions) were aligned to the project intervention goals—to improve the climate and culture of advancement for women in STEM and SBS disciplines at JSU. The most statistically significant findings, which demonstrate the effectiveness of the overall project interventions, included common indicators of campus climates which are inclusive, equitable, and positive for all faculty.
These core findings signal some important successes in terms of changes in terms of Job Satisfaction particularly as it relates to salary and feeling intellectually stimulated, and feeling a strong sense of connection to the University. Some important ongoing areas for improvement are also indicated in the area of perceptions of gender differences in terms of rates of advancement. These findings point to the importance of institutional efforts to raise awareness of gender equity, provide consistent access to mentorship, tenure and promotion workshops, and administrative leadership training and opportunities to produce increased transparency in the area of administrative advancement.
The campus climates of HBCUs have cultural contexts that impact women of color which are not readily captured in traditional campus climate theoretical frameworks.
Relevant programmatic initiatives to address campus climate findings need to be continually implemented and monitored.