Note: The following is based on a pre-COVID-19 survey, and although the University has since established fully-online teaching, learning, and administrative support, the survey’s findings are still very relevant and important to understanding our students’ perception of UNCG campus culture and support.
What do our students say about the inclusive environment created on campus?
In order to address that question, the iBelong Project was launched in Spring 2019 to better understand student experiences at UNCG. The project utilized the Culturally Engaging Campus Environments (CECE) survey developed by the National Institute for Transformation and Equity.
This is the final part of a three-part series that highlights the results of the survey, and how that information can be useful for faculty and staff in their interaction with students.
There were three distinct findings from the CECE survey. First, students agreed that they perceived diversity to be a priority at UNCG. 81% agreed that diversity is a major priority and 79% agreed that UNCG is committed to fostering an inclusive community. The data supports that the work to create an inclusive environment has been received by the students on campus.
The second and related finding was that students are not as clear about the appropriate mode to report issues related to bias on campus. 63% agreed that there were sufficient mechanisms for reporting. The Dean of Students Office, Chancellors Fellow for Diversity and Inclusion, and the Title IX office are all working on clarifying the structure and exploring ways to make it more student friendly.
The final theme as it related to diversity and inclusion was that students reported they had varied experiences with teachers successfully engaging students in classroom conversations about diversity and inclusion. 58% of students felt their teachers had skills to facilitate conversations about inequity and 60% felt teachers had skills to address diversity issues that arise in the classroom. The UTLC is expanding programming that addresses sustained dialogue/civil discourse in the classroom in order to support faculty in this area.
How was this Culturally Engaging Campus Environments survey conducted? 7,000 undergraduate students were randomly sampled from the UNCG roster to provide a representative sample of our student population. Selected students were then invited by email to complete the survey, and students needed to complete at least the first major section – 53 questions (21%) – of the survey in order to be included in the final sample. The final sample used to compile the results included 1,127 undergraduates, including online and transfer students, and their demographic data mirrored the general demographics of the UNCG student body.
The survey is based on a conceptual framework that identifies external and internal factors that impact student success, some of which include family, finances, employment, demographics, initial academic dispositions, and academic preparation. It seeks to showcase student voices and create conversations about inclusive excellence, learning, and sense of belonging.
The specific goal of the iBelong Project is to understand how students experience our campus now, and how to help the University better meet the learning, professional, and personal needs of all of our current and future students.
A full report can be found at UNCG’s iBelong website sa.uncg.edu/ibelong. A feedback form on the website allows you to share your reaction and input.
See Part 1 in this series on the Campus Culture Survey.
See Part 2.