Making the Ask

Are you interested in using the PACE Survey on your campus, but are unsure of how to ask for support and funding?  If so, NILIE has developed some resources to help you in this process.

First, consider the reasons why the PACE Survey is important to you.  Our current clients use it to:

  • start a cultural assessment of leadership toward student success
  • evaluate the current climate of the institution
  • gather information to determine campus strengths and weaknesses
  • gather data to develop and implement strategic plans

Knowing why you want to use the PACE Survey and having a plan of how the results can be used in decision making will help lay the foundation for asking for support.

Second, find others in your department and across campus that also value the opportunity to use the PACE Survey in decision making and ask them to join you.

Third, identify the key leaders that you will need to ask.  These may include supervisors, deans, or even the president of the college.  Institutional research offices are usually a key unit in survey research, so contact them if you are not part of that unit.

Fourth, draft a collective proposal that highlights your reasons and the aspects that make the PACE Survey unique.  For instance:

  • The PACE Survey response rate is 48%, compared to the national average of 35% (Baruch & Holtom, 2008);
  • Over 100 unique institutions have administered the PACE Survey in the last five years, and all of those institutions are part of our Normbase comparison group, including Harper College (IL), Jackson College (MI), Sinclair College (OH), Walla Walla Community College (WA), Wake Tech (NC), Alamo Colleges District, and Anoka-Ramsey (MN);
  • NILIE has been serving community colleges for over 25 years and its surveys are both reliable and continuing to evolve to meet changing needs;
  • Custom questions and services are available upon request;
  • Fee structure is low and excellence customer service is always provided; and
  • Confidentiality is a top priority.

Fifth, once you have drafted your proposal, make sure to ask your leaders in person and follow-up with an email communication.  In the event that you receive a “no,” follow-up with practical suggestions to implement the proposal the next year.

Baruch, Y., & Holtom, B. C. (2008). Survey response rate levels and trends in organizational research. Human Relations, 61(8), 1139-1160. doi:10.1177/0018726708094863