Diversity and Equity Campus Climate logotype

What is Campus Climate?

Campus climate reflects “community members’ attitudes, perceptions, behaviors, and expectations around issues of race, ethnicity, and diversity.”¹ Though initially focused on understanding perceptions and experiences of minoritized students (women in STEM, students of color generally, and Black students in particular),² increasingly research on campus climate encompasses a multi-dimensional environmental perspective involving multiple groups (faculty, students, administrators, and staff) and aspects of difference, such as race/ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, ability status, and more.

¹Hurtado, S., Griffin, K. A., Arellano, L., & Cuellar, M. (2008). Assessing the value of climate assessments: Progress and future directions. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 1(4), 204–221

²Griffin, K. (2018). Addressing STEM Culture and Climate to Increase Diversity in STEM Disciplines. Higher Education Today.

Another Campus Climate Survey?

Yes; however this is the FIRST at NSCC that focuses specifically on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

How are Diversity and Equity defined in this survey?

For this survey, the Higher Education Data Sharing (HEDS) Consortium defines diversity and equity as follows: 

DIVERSITY: differences among people in their race and ethnicity, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, culture, national origin, religious beliefs and identity, age, disability status, and political perspective.

EQUITY: a commitment to working to challenge and respond to bias, harassment, and discrimination against people from diverse identities and backgrounds

When will the survey be available?

The Diversity & Equity Campus Climate Survey will be sent via email on April 10, 2023, and will be available until April 30, 2023. If you did not complete the survey, you will receive email reminders on April 13, 2023, April 18, 2023, and April 26, 2023.

Who will be able to participate in the campus climate survey?

All students attending NSCC and taking at least 6 credits since the beginning of this academic year, faculty (including part-time), all administrators, and staff at NSCC will be invited to participate. All respondents must be at least 18 years old to complete the survey.

Is participation required?

No, participation in this survey is voluntary.

Why should I take this survey?

For the survey data to be meaningful, we need responses from a representative cross-section of the NSCC community (faculty, staff, administrators, and students). This is an opportunity for all parts of the College, from faculty to student services staff and senior administrators to share their experiences and help us accurately assess the DEI campus climate at NSCC, which will help the implementation of our strategic priorities and ultimately our goal of delivering equitable student outcomes. Your shared experiences, perceptions and response to the survey are important.

How will the survey be administered?

You will receive an email containing a link to the HEDS Diversity & Equity Campus Climate from NSCC@hedsconsortium.org on Monday, April 10, 2023. If you are interrupted or must exit the survey, your responses on previous pages should be saved when you return.

How long will the survey take?

The survey will take about 10 to 15 minutes to complete on average. You can choose to skip or not answer any of the questions, and you may stop your participation at any time.

Will my responses be anonymous?

Yes. The survey asks many demographic questions to develop a better sense of diversity at NSCC. However, responses are anonymous. HEDS excludes personal information, including name, email address, student or employee identification number, and IP address, from the survey data received. HEDS also removes some variables and/or combines response options into broader categories to maintain the anonymity of respondents. HEDS will review open-ended text responses, remove the names of anyone who identifies themselves or is accused of discrimination and/or harassment, and send the reviewed open-ended text responses in a separate file. The data file HEDS will return to NSCC will not include any institution-provided personal information such as race/ethnicity, gender, academic classification, employee type, or college ID number. Given the sensitive nature of the data from these surveys, NSCC agreed to secure data handling practices during registration to receive a data file. NSCC also worked with the College’s institutional review board (IRB) to help assure our campus constituencies we are treating the survey data and findings appropriately. 

What kinds of demographic questions are asked in the survey?

To assess perceptions of the campus climate that pertain to your social identity, a series of specific demographic questions are asked including (but not limited to): race/ethnicity, gender identity (e.g., woman, man, transgender, gender non-conforming), socioeconomic class background, sexual orientation/identity, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, religion or spiritual beliefs, and political opinions. You may skip any questions that you prefer not to answer.

Why does the survey ask about alcohol consumption?

Starting in 2022, the HEDS Consortium started collaborating with researchers at Columbia University and the University of Wisconsin to examine how state policies, community environment, and institutional environment and policies relate to binge drinking and peer victimization, including racial, sexual, and gender minority victimization on college campuses. As part of that collaboration and to obtain national data, they've added a small number of questions that ask about alcohol consumption and an additional brief module at the end, which looks at how people of color and the LGBTQ+ communities are treated, that support this research to the HEDS Diversity and Equity Campus Climate Survey.

Are there any incentives for participating?

The first 300 eligible student participants that complete the survey will receive a $25 Amazon gift card! Students that complete the survey will be given a link at the end of their survey to provide their contact information. Please be aware that by providing contact information, students are revealing that they participated in the survey; however, responses will not be linked to names or survey responses, and will only be used to distribute the gift cards. All participant responses and information will be confidential. Comment end  

Who is paying for this survey?

The survey is being paid for by North Shore Community College.

What if I would like to learn more or speak with someone about this survey?

If you have questions about this survey, you may contact
Nikki Pelonia, Chief Diversity & Equity Officer, at npelonia@northshore.edu, or

Macanda Myers, Research Analyst and Data Manager at the HEDS Consortium, at macanda.myers@hedsconsortium.org

How and when will the results be shared?

HEDS typically sends the files and report 8-10 weeks after the survey closes, e.g., July 2023. The tentative plan is to assemble a working group to analyze the report data during Summer 2023, plan any necessary next steps in early Fall 2023, and share the findings by Winter 2023.

Non-discrimination statement

Per the College’s Police on Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity, & Diversity (PAA): The Board of Higher Education of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is responsible under Chapter 15A of the General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for the overall governance of the public higher education system, which includes the fifteen Community Colleges. The Board of Higher Education and the Boards of Trustees of the Community Colleges maintain and promote a policy of non-discrimination on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, genetic information, maternity leave, military service and national origin (“protected class(s)/classification(s).” Further, this policy prohibits retaliation and incorporates by reference, and where applicable, the requirements of Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1968; Titles I and II of the Civil Rights Act of 1991; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and its regulations found at 34 C.F.R. part 106; Equal Pay Act of 1963; Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1988; Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; Section 402 of the Vietnam-era Veterans Readjustment Act of 1974, Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA); Age Discrimination Act of 1975; Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended; Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993; Federal Executive Order 11246 of 1965, as amended by Executive Order 11375 of 1967; Federal Executive Order 12900 of 1994; Federal Executive Order 13145 of 2000; Federal Executive Order 13160 of 2000; Federal Executive Order 13166 of 2000; Massachusetts Civil Rights Act; Massachusetts General Laws Chapters 151B, 151C, and Chapter 149; directives of the BHE, the Boards of Trustees of the Community Colleges and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; and other applicable local, state and federal constitutions, statutes, regulations and executive orders. 

Non-discrimination requires the elimination of all existing unlawful discriminatory conditions, whether purposeful or inadvertent. The Community Colleges are continuing to systematically examine all policies and procedures to be sure that they do not, if implemented as stated, operate to the detriment of any person on the basis of a protected classification. The Colleges shall require that the practices of those responsible in matters of employment and education, including all supervisors and faculty, are non-discriminatory. Should the College discover discrimination in treatment or effect in any employment, educational or service decision, action, inaction or practice within the College, all appropriate corrective and/or disciplinary actions shall be taken under the direction of the President of the College subject to any applicable collective bargaining agreement or other policy or procedure of the College. 

The Community Colleges are committed to a policy of Affirmative Action, equal opportunity, equal education, non-discrimination, and diversity. They are committed to providing a learning, working and living environment – whether in person or in the virtual/online setting - for their students, employees and other members of the College Community, which values the diverse backgrounds of all people. The Colleges are committed to assuring that the “College Experience” is one that challenges, empowers, supports, and prepares its students to live in, work in, and value our increasingly global and diverse world. The Colleges believe that the diversity of socio-economic, racial, ethnic, religious, gender, sexual orientation, age and disability backgrounds of members of the College Community enriches the institutions and their various constituencies. The Colleges will not tolerate behavior based on bigotry, which has the effect of 7 discriminating unlawfully against any member of their communities.

The Community Colleges provide equal access to educational, co-curricular and employment opportunities at the Colleges for all applicants, students and employees in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and policies. All benefits, privileges and opportunities offered by the Colleges are available to all students, employees and other persons having dealings with the institutions on a non-discriminatory basis. The Colleges are committed to taking a pro-active Affirmative Action posture with respect to their recruitment, selection and promotion of students and employees. 

The purpose of the Affirmative Action component of this Policy is to establish a set of programmatic objectives, which shall provide for the recruitment, access and advancement of qualified persons from within the protected classes/classifications recognized under this Policy with respect to employment and enrollment opportunities. The intent of this Policy is to responsibly recognize, and to whatever extent possible, resolve the effects of past societal discrimination and the impact which that discrimination has had, not only on victims of such discrimination, but on the total academic, educational and social system as well. It is not intended and should not be used to discriminate against any applicant, employee, or student because of a protected classification. 

In response to that recognition, the Colleges, through their Boards of Trustees and Presidents, fully endorse the plan of action set forth in this Policy and shall oversee and monitor its implementation through the Affirmative Action Officer and other assigned personnel. 

The following specific policies are established: 

  • Equal opportunity and affirmative action shall apply to all segments of the College; full and part-time employment; day and continuing education; the curriculum and offerings of the College. 
    Equal opportunity and affirmative action shall be applied to the recruitment process for employment and/or access to education.
  • Students will have access to the College, programs of study, activities, and other resources intended to serve them, according to the policies of the individual Colleges.
  • Equal employment opportunity and affirmative action will be realized in all personnel employment, including recruitment, application for employment, hiring, benefits, compensation, training, promotion, and termination. 
    All policies, procedures, privileges, and conditions of the College will follow and incorporate applicable equal opportunity and affirmative action rules and regulations. 
  • The above-stated policies are intended to be applied broadly with the goal of promoting equal opportunity and diversity in Community Colleges. The Community Colleges pledge to apply all policies consistently, fairly, and vigorously. Attempts to subvert or abuse these policies will not 8 be tolerated. Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken in the case of an infraction. Such disciplinary action shall be consistent with the appropriate collective bargaining agreement, if applicable. 

All policies are made in compliance with laws and regulations and executive orders promulgated by the federal and state governments and other appropriate agencies and authorities, where applicable.

To report discrimination and/or harassment

To report discrimination and/or harassment prohibited by the College policy, please complete the NSCC Complaint Form or contact NSCC's Chief Diversity & Equity Officer; Affirmative Action Officer, ADA/504, & Title IX Coordinator, Nikki Pelonia at: npelonia@northshore.edu
Or call: 978-762-4010

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