Photo courtesy of Alamo Colleges
Photo courtesy of Alamo Colleges

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PACE Survey

Q. I want to launch my PACE survey soon, can you accommodate me? A: We most likely can accommodate your quick turn-around; however, there are two stages that clients might need more time than they expect. First, PACE staff requires a completed service agreement to start work. Institutions may need to run this service agreement by their legal department. Institutions may also like to form a taskforce to develop custom questions. This is the second stage where clients might need more time — developing custom questions and providing a contact list.

Q. Can we launch the PACE survey throughout the year?  We recommend launching the survey August through November or January through early May.  A summer launch is not recommended due to vacations and employees on nine, ten, or eleven month contracts.

Q. How many custom questions may we add to the PACE survey? A: Clients may add up to 20 custom questions that begin with “The extent to which…”. In addition, clients may also include up to 3 custom demographic questions.

Q. How long should we leave the PACE survey link live? A. We recommend leaving the survey open for a minimum of three weeks in order to gather as many responses as possible.

Q: How many reminders will you send out while the survey is live? To whom will you send those reminders? A: We generally send out three reminders in the duration of three weeks when the survey is open in order to encourage participation. The reminders will only be sent to those who have not completed the survey. Respondents who complete the survey will not receive reminders.

NILIE Team Members

Q. How can we increase our survey response rates? A: Encourage the President or other member of your institution’s leadership team to send an email to participants prior to the email distribution of the survey to notify them that they will be receiving an email from PACE staff and to stress the importance of completing the survey. The subject of our email is “PACE Survey- Institution Name” and it is sent from noreply@qemailserver.com. Also, we highly encourage marketing the survey among participants in as many ways as possible in order to get the best response rate (i.e. announcements at meetings, flyers on bulletin boards, etc.)

 Q: If the answers are confidential, how do they know I didn’t already take the survey? A: Your responses are confidential but not anonymous. PACE staff will not report whether or not you take the survey; however, each invitee has a unique link to access the survey. Your answers are completely confidential and will be released only as summaries in which no individual’s answers can be identified. When you submit your survey your name will be deleted from the mailing list and never connected to your answers in any way.

Q: Will answering certain demographic questions make it obvious who I am? A: Any variable with a response rate of less than 5% of the total will be excluded from the data provided to the institution to protect the confidentiality of respondents. That means that if you are part of group that has less than a 5% response rate compared to all responses, your group will be combined with another group.

Q. Will you be able to tell who said what in the open-ended comments? A: Open-ended comments are separated from all other survey items including demographic questions and “the extent to which…” items. The institution will receive open-ended comments in the aggregate. There will be no way to connect comments to respondents. Additionally, PACE staff review the comments and edit as necessary to maintain respondent confidentiality.

Q: Is the Part-time Faculty Subscale only administered to respondents who indicate they are part-time and faculty? Are the Racial Diversity and Institutional Structure Subscales administered to all respondents? A: Yes, the Part-time Faculty Subscale would only be administered to part-time faculty while the Racial Diversity and Institutional Structure Subscales would be administered to all staff.

Q: How are the items on the Institutional Structure Subscale different than the Institutional Structure climate factor questions on the PACE survey? A: Historically, institutions score lowest on the institutional structure climate factor of the standard PACE. As a result, we developed the Institutional Structure Subscale to delve deeper into these issues. The questions on the Institutional Structure Subscale center around: mission, leadership, decision-making and influence, policies and structural organization, teams and cooperation, and communication and information sharing. Please review a Institutional Structure Subscale Sample Report.

PACE Report

Q: Since the report format has changed, can we still include a comparison to our previous administration? A: Yes, in the report you are able to select three comparison dimensions. One of these dimensions can be your previous administration as long as you have administered the survey within the last five years. If you have administered the PACE survey more than once in the last five years, you can also choose previous administrations as your second and third comparison dimension.

Q: Why can we not include a comparison to a previous administration from more than five years ago? A: The PACE Survey team does not think a comparison between two administrations more than five years apart is meaningful. The PACE survey instrument has not changed, you can request raw data from your previous administration for an additional fee.

Q: How do the comparison groups work? A: In the report, you can select three comparison dimensions from our norm base. Most institutions will select their previous administration, the entire NILIE norm base, and institutions of a similar size. When you select a Carnegie, IPEDS, or Census classification, your institution is already classified in each category by the information provided by your institutional research team. As a result, your comparison group for the Carnegie, IPEDS, or Census classification will be your institution’s classification. For example, if you are a Medium 2 year institution, then you will be compared to other Medium 2 year institutions.

Q: Why is the report no longer organized around the personnel classification variable? A: We offer a personnel classification report so that your institution can browse means by Administrator, Staff, and Faculty groups. Additionally, in our demographic report we standardized all of our demographic items so that institutions can focus on the demographic that is most important to them and still see comparisons to other institutions. For example, institutions focusing on generational issues may pay particular attention to our age demographic item and/or institutions concerned with racial diversity may choose to focus on that variable.

Q: Why do you not include means for groups with a 5% or lower response rate in our report? A: To protect respondent confidentiality, we will redact means from any response option with a 5% or lower response rate. The frequencies for these groups will still be reported.