Optional Question Sets

The PACE Climate Survey currently has five optional question sets that can be administered in conjunction as part of your PACE survey to provide additional information beyond the standard 46 items. One question set can be included at no extra charge with your survey administration*.  Learn more about the subscales below:

Part-Time Faculty Question Set
Racial Diversity Question Set
Institutional Structure Question Set
Change Readiness Question Set
Student Success Question Set

*During the 2021-2022 Academic Year:

As part of the Belk Center’s Commitment to Equity, we want to help campuses in promoting and developing racial equity efforts. Here are two steps we are taking to assist in these efforts:

  • There will be two open ended questions on the topic of racial equity added to all surveys. All responses will be delivered in a raw qualitative report, with comments edited to ensure respondent confidentiality.
  • We are offering the option to include the Racial Diversity Question Set as a second question set for no additional cost. Please let us know at pace_survey@ncsu.edu if you would like to add the Racial Diversity question set to your survey.

Part-Time Faculty Question SEt

Part-Time Faculty Sample Report

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Since the inception of community colleges in the sixties the status of faculty has undergone a dramatic change. Research has found that the number of part-time faculty has increased by 86 percent since the sixties (Schuster and Finkelstein, 2006). Furthermore, research suggests that the working experiences of part-time faculty often differ from that of full-time faculty (Jaeger, A. J. & Eagan, M. K., 2009; Jaeger, A. J. & Eagan, M. K., 2011). Part-time faculty often receive less pay, feel unheard and ignored by other members of the college, and have a lack of job security.

PACE staff recognize the need to understand more about part-time faculty and has created the Part-Time Faculty Subscale to address the following research based factors that contribute to their satisfaction:

  • Job Security, Motivation and Advancement
  • Compensation and Benefits
  • Training and Evaluation
  • Inclusion and Access

Jaeger, A. J. & Eagan, M. K. (2011). Examining retention and contingent faculty use in a state system of public higher education. Educational Policy, 25(3), 507-537.

Jaeger, A. J. & Eagan, M. K. (2009). Unintended consequences: Examining the effect of contingent faculty on degree completion. Community College Review, 36(3), 167-194

Schuster, J. H., and Finkelstein, M. J. (2006). The American faculty: The restructuring of academic work and careers. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Racial Diversity Question Set

Racial Diversity Sample Report

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While college campuses are more diverse than they were twenty years ago, concerns of “chilly” racial climates continue to exist and institutional leaders must remain engaged in a concerted effort to ensure that faculty, staff, administrators, and students of all races and ethnicities are comfortable on campus (Smith & Wolf-Wendel, 2006). PACE staff recognize the need to address the campus racial and ethnic climate for administrators, faculty, and staff, and provides a tool that institutional leaders can use to better understand racial and ethnic diversity on their campuses. Using Hurtado’s (1992) model as a framework, PACE staff created a Racial Diversity Subscale, which addresses various factors that influence the racial climate of a campus, including its structural make-up, psychological climate, and behavioral climate (Hurtado, Milem, Clayton-Pederson, & Allen, 1998; Umbach & Kuh, 2006).
Hurtado, S. (1992), The campus racial Climate: Contexts of conflict. Journal of Higher Education, 63(5), 539–569.
Hurtado, S., Milem, J. F., Clayton-Pedersen, A., and Allen, W. R. (1998). Enhancing campus climates for racial/ethnic diversity: Educational policy and practice. Review of Higher Education, 21(3), 279–302.
Smith, D. & Wolf-Wendel, L. (2005). The challenge of diversity: Involvement or alienation in the academy? San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Umbach, P. D., & Kuh, G. D. (2006). Student experiences with diversity at liberal arts colleges: Another claim for distinctiveness. The Journal of Higher Education, 77(1), 169-192.

Institutional Structure Question Set

Institutional Structure Sample Report

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As institutions of higher education seek to improve and meet external demands, issues specifically related to the institutional structure climate factor often create challenges. Research suggests that organizations function best when they are effectively coordinated, labor and control is appropriately divided, and structural design adapts to current circumstances (Bolman and Deal, 2008). However, PACE survey data consistently reveals that employees at institutions have relatively negative perceptions of campus climate related to these areas, which are connected to the institutional structure climate factor. The Institutional Structure report is designed to provide insight into employee perceptions of institutional structure climate, specifically related to the institution’s mission, leadership, decision-making, organization, and communication. Gaining insight into these areas is particularly helpful considering the unique structural organization found in institutions of higher education.

PACE staff recognize the need to understand more about institutional structure and provides a tool that institutional leaders can use to gain insight into climate around institutional structure at their campus. The collected data will be analyzed using a six-factor framework derived from the current institutional structure climate factor and higher education organizational structure literature. The Institutional Structure Subscale six-factor framework includes:

  • Mission
  • Leadership
  • Decision-Making and Influence
  • Policies and Structural Organization
  • Teams and Cooperation
  • Communication and Information Sharing

Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (2008). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership (4th ed.). San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

Change Readiness Question Set
Change Readiness Sample Report

Download (PDF, 343KB)

A large part of the organizational change process is engaging personnel in the planning and implementation of changes. The participation of personnel across the institution in the change process has proven to yield more success in achieving desired outcomes (Bolman & Deal, 2008; Burke, 2011). This involvement not only yields more success, it also creates better engagement and commitment to the overall change. The engagement of employees as a part of understanding the change process requires investment in developing appropriate and functional channels for personnel to communicate what needs to occur for successful change (Bolman & Deal, 2008). The Change Readiness Subscale is a survey developed to allow for the direct large-scale input of organization members regarding overall organizational readiness for change. PACE staff recognize the need to understand the perceptions of employees during the change process. The subjective nature of the perception of change makes a climate survey a necessary component to garner a comprehensive view of the organization’s readiness for change and responses to enacted changes. The Change Readiness Subscale is a tool to help institutional leaders better understand their campuses in order to think about and create systemic and strategic organizational change.
Bolman, L. G., & Terrence, E. Deal. 2008. Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership (4th ed.). San Francisco: Jossey Bass.Burke, W. W. (2011). 
Organization change: Theory and practice (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications, Inc.

Student Success Question Set
To enhance student outcomes, community colleges must develop, apply, and measure progress against, a clear definition of student success.  Myriad definitions exist that include a wide range of concerns, from graduation and completion to persistence and retention, student engagement, and equity and diversity, among others (Astin, 1993; Barefoot, 2008; Hurtado, Alvarez, Guillermo-Wann, Cuellar, & Arellano,  2012; Kuh, Kinzie, Schuh, Whitt & Associates, 2010; Museus, 2013; Pascarella and Terenzini, 2005; Rendón & Muñoz, 2011; Tinto, 1993; Tinto & Pusser, 2006). While many community college leaders conceptualize student success in terms of degree and certification completion rates, greater demands for accountability across a variety of metrics have led many leaders to take a more holistic view of student success. For example, n response to employers’ observations about skills gaps among college graduates ( Carnevale, Jayasundera, & Cheah, 2012; Carnevale, Smith, & Strohl, 2011; Economist Intelligence Unit,  2014), many community college leaders have progressively turned their attention to better preparing students for the workforce and assessing labor market outcomes (Aspen Institute College Excellence Program, 2017). In short, while different institutions align their goals with their unique student populations, many community colleges have come to define student success not only by what students achieve during college, but also afterwards.
Astin, A. (1993). What matters in college: Four critical years revisited. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Barefoot, B. (Ed). (2008). The First Year and Beyond: Rethinking the Challenge of Collegiate Transition. New Directions for Higher Education (No. 44). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Carnevale, A.P. Smith, R., & Strohl, J. (2013). Recovery: Projections of jobs and education requirements through 2020. Retrieved from Georgetown University, Center on Education and the Workforce website: http://cew.georgetown.edu/recovery2020Carnevale, A.P., Jayasundera, T., & Cheah, B. (2012). The college advantage: Weathering the economic storm.  Retrieved from Georgetown University, Center on Education and the Workforce website: https://cew.georgetown.edu/collegepayoff.College Excellence Program, Leading for Community College Excellence: Curricular Resources,The Aspen Institute (2017)


Hurtado, S., Alvarez, C. L., Guillermo-Wann, C., Cuellar, M., & Arellano, L. (2012). A model for diverse learning environments: The scholarship on creating and assessing conditions for student success. In J. C. Smart & M. B. Paulsen (Eds.), Higher education: Handbook of theory and research (Vol. 27, pp. 41–122). New York, NY: Springer.

Kuh, G.D., Kinzie, J., Schuh, J.H., Whitt, E.J., & Associates (2010). Student success in college: Creating conditions that matter. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Museus, S. D. (2013). The Culturally Engaging Campus Environments (CECE) Model: A new theory of college success among racially diverse student populations. In M. B. Paulsen (Ed.), Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research (pp. 189-227). New York: Springer.

Pascarella, E., & Terenzini, P. (2005). How college affects students: A third decade of research (Vol. 2). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Rendón, L. I., & Muñoz, S. M. (2011). Revisiting validation theory: Theoretical foundations, applications, and extensions. Enrollment Management Journal: Student Access, Finance, and Success in Higher Education, 5 (2), 12–33

Rodriguez, F.C. (2015). Why diversity and equity matter: Reflections from a community college president. New Directions for Community Colleges, 172, 15-24.

Tinto, V. (1993). Leaving college: Rethinking the causes and cures of student attrition (2nd ed.). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Tinto, V., & Pusser, B. (2006). Moving from theory to action: Building a model of institutional action for student success. Washington, DC: National Postsecondary Education Cooperative.