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Report 92-2: Assessing Campus Climate: Feasibility of Developing an Educational Equity Assessment System

Published by The California Postsecondary Education Commission

January 1992

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This report concludes a three-year study on the feasibility of developing an education equity assessment system designed to obtain information on the perceptions of institutional participants about their campus climate. In this study, campus climate is defined as "the formal and informal environment--both institutional and community-based--in which individuals learn, teach, work, and live in a postsecondary setting." The impetus for this study was two-fold: (1) the Commission's policy declaration that directs attention to the qualitative dimension of educational equity, and (2) Assembly Bill 4071 (Vasconcellos, 1988), which directed the Commission to investigate the feasibility of developing an educational equity assessment system for California higher education.

In June 1990, the Commission published Toward an Understanding of Campus Climate, the report of Phase One of this two-part study. That report centered on defining and better understanding the nature and complexity of the campus climate concept. This second and final report focuses on the process, methodological issues, and educational significance of assessing campus climate.

The report is divided into five parts:

  • Part One discusses the impetuses for the study and describes its two phases;
  • Part Two describes the statewide context for the project;
  • Part Three examines questions of process that institutions may wish to address in assessing their campus climate;
  • Part Four responds to the specific issues of feasibility posed by AB 4017 and discusses several methodological issues surrounding assessment of campus climate; and
  • Part Five summarizes important issues of the project and on pages 26-30 offers the Commission's nine conclusions and recommendations for action -- the first seven by postsecondary educational institutions themselves, the eighth by the State's educational leaders, and ninth by the statewide offices of California's sectors of higher education.

In brief, the Commission believes that institutional self-assessment of campus climate is so important in ensuring educational quality and achieving educational equity that is urges progress by the entire higher education community in this direction; and it has agreed to help this institutional progress by distributing to all of California's colleges and universities as soon as possible a resource guide on the assessment of campus climate.

The Commission adopted this report at its meeting of January 27, 1992, on recommendation of its Policy Evaluation Committee.

Related Topics: Enrollment Demand and Capacity Analysis

Further information may be obtained from the Commission's Research Staff
(916) 445-1000 or via e-mail at

A copy of any publication may be requested from the Commission's Publications Unit
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