Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $899,825)
The Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act (VAWARA, 2022) directs the Department of Education (ED) to “develop, design, and make available through a secure and accessible online portal” a standardized Campus Climate Survey (CCS) that all postsecondary institutions receiving federal assistance will use to collect the data and information they need to address interpersonal violence (IV). IV includes domestic violence, dating violence, sexual harassment, stalking, and sexual assault. This CCS Project involves working with the Bureau of Justice Statistics, ED, and other stakeholders to develop a CCS that will enable all types of postsecondary institutions to successfully collect the data they need to understand the magnitude and nature of the types of IV students experience. These data will, in turn, inform efforts to improve the content, timing, and delivery of prevention and policy responses designed to reduce IV among all students and to better address their service-related needs, thereby improving public safety and public health.
The institutions that will be included fall into five categories: (1) 4-year predominantly white institutions (PWIs), (2) minority-serving institutions (including historically black colleges and universities [HBCUs], Hispanic-serving institutions, and tribal colleges and universities), (3) community/junior colleges, (4) vocational/trade schools, and (5) online-only institutions. Most CCSs have been conducted at 4-year PWIs, so the IV experiences of these students are fairly well documented, as are the factors that are believed to facilitate IV, but less is known about the experiences of students attending some of these other types of postsecondary institutions. Perhaps the biggest challenge this CCS Project will face is developing a CCS that ED can deploy to facilitate the rigorous collection of CCS data for all types of postsecondary institutions and students. It will be critical to include and learn from institutions and students who have been socially and economically marginalized and whose voices are underrepresented in CCS research.