What’s on the Survey?

The purpose of the PACE Climate Survey is to promote open and constructive communication and to establish priorities for change by obtaining the satisfaction estimate of employees concerning the campus climate. Using a five-point scale, respondents are asked to select their survey response to items divided into four domains: institutional structure, supervisory relationships, teamwork, and student focus.

  • The Institutional Structure climate factor focuses on the mission, leadership, spirit of cooperation, structural organization, decision-making, and communication within the institution.  
  • Supervisory Relationships provides insight into the relationship between an employee and a supervisor and an employee’s ability to be creative and express ideas related to the employee’s work.  
  • Teamwork explores the spirit of cooperation within work teams and effective coordination within teams.
  • The Student Focus climate factor considers the centrality of students to the actions of the institution as well as the extent to which students are prepared for post-institution endeavors.

Together, the unique focus of each climate factor provides a comprehensive picture of campus climate at an institution.

Survey Basics

  • 46 standard questions based on the four climate factors
  • 1 of 5 subscales, including:
    • Part-time Faculty Subscale
    • Racial Diversity Subscale
    • Institutional Structure Subscale
    • Change Readiness Subscale
    • Student Success Subscale
  • Up to 20 custom questions of your choosing
  • 8 demographic items
  • Up to 3 custom demographic items determined by your institution
  • 2 open-ended questions
  • Respondents are asked to mark their response to questions on a five-point scale. Choices on the scale are:
    Photo courtesy of Harford Community College
    Photo courtesy of Harford Community College
    • Very satisfied
    • Satisfied
    • Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
    • Dissatisfied
    • Very dissatisfied

Standard Questions

Standard questions are associated with the four climate factors. Examples of standard questions by climate factor are:


  • The extent to which the actions of this institution reflect its mission
  • The extent to which decisions are made at the appropriate level


  • The extent to which my supervisor seriously considers my idea
  • The extent to which I am given the opportunity to be creative in my work


  • The extent to which there is a spirit of cooperation within my work team
  • The extent to which my work team coordinates its efforts with appropriate individuals and teams


  • The extent to which student needs are central to what we do
  • The extent to which students are satisfied with their educational experience at this institution

Demographic Questions

PACE staff includes the following demographic questions in the PACE survey:

Harford Community College
Photo courtesy of Harford Community College
  1. What is your personnel classification?
    1. Faculty
    2. Administrator
    3. Staff
  2. Your status at this institution is:
    1. Full time
    2. Part time
  3. What gender are you?
    1. Man
    2. Woman
    3. Another gender identity
    4. I prefer not to respond
  4. Please select the race/ethnicity that best describes you:
    1. Hispanic or Latino, of any race
    2. American Indian or Alaska Native, not Hispanic or Latino
    3. Asian, not Hispanic or Latino
    4. Black, not Hispanic or Latino
    5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, not Hispanic or Latino
    6. White, not Hispanic or Latino
    7. Two or more races, not Hispanic or Latino
  5. What is the highest degree you have earned?
    1. First Professional degree (e.g., M.D., D.D.S., J.D., D.V.M.)
    2. Doctoral degree (e.g., Ph.D., Ed.D.)
    3. Master’s degree
    4. Bachelor’s degree
    5. Associate’s degree
    6. High School diploma or GED
    7. No diploma or degree
  6. How many years have you worked at this institution?
  7. How many years have you worked in higher education?
  8. You were born in 19__.

In addition to these questions, clients may include up to three custom demographic questions in the PACE survey.

Custom Items

Clients may choose up to 20 Custom Questions to include in the PACE Climate Survey.

Madison Area Technical College
Photo courtesy of Madison Area Technical College

These questions should start with “the extent to which…”
Examples of custom questions can be viewed in our custom question library

Clients may develop custom open-ended questions for an additional per question fee.