2023-2024 Policy Library 
    Jul 16, 2024  
2023-2024 Policy Library

Survey Policy (TCCS)

 Category: Academics / Research
Title: Consortial Survey Policy and Procedures
Approved by: Academic Deans Committee (ADC)
Date Approved: 10/19/2017
Related Policies: Survey Policy (CMC) , Institutional Review Board (IRB) Policies  
Responsible Official: 7C Institutional Research and Assessment Group


Entities Covered by this Policy

  • All units of the College
  • Claremont University Consortium


CMC Office of Institutional Research
Bauer Center, First Floor
500 E. Ninth Street
Claremont, CA 91711
(909) 621-8650

Rationale for the Policy

Students, faculty and staff are frequently asked to participate in surveys for their own individual campus as well as the Consortium and outside sources. This policy sets forth guidelines for centralized coordination and approval of consortial surveys for the following reasons:

  1. To ensure that students, faculty and staff are not being over-surveyed; which causes decreases in response rates across surveys;
  2. To ensure that surveys are administered on a schedule that best promotes response rates and obtaining information that is useful to the Consortium and each college;
  3. To ensure that surveys are constructed in ways that protect confidentiality and prevent coercion;
  4. To ensure that students, faculty and staff are not being asked for information on topics for which there is already data;
  5. To facilitate assessment needs, as appropriate, across the Consortium


This policy applies to consortial surveys that are administered across more than one Claremont College. This policy does not apply to surveys developed for the following purposes:

  1. Program-level surveys for internal purposes (e.g. course evaluations)
  2. Class projects surveying students, faculty, or staff within that course (e.g. a psychology survey in a psychology research methods course)
  3. Academic work (e.g., thesis, independent studies) is governed through leadership on a student’s home campus. Academic work that involves surveying faculty, staff, or students beyond the home campus will be brought to the 7CIR group at the discretion of that leadership.
  4. External surveys and surveys mandated by accreditation agencies (e.g. Rideshare Survey, Conflict of Interest, NHCA)
  5. Programmatic evaluations after an event or workshop

Components of the Process

  1. Departments, committees or individuals wishing to administer a survey to students, faculty and/or staff across the consortium should submit a brief proposal to the 7C Institutional Research Group (7CIRG) for approval. The institutional researcher on your campus can help you complete your proposal. A template for your proposal can be found here, and asks for the following information:
    1. The purpose of the survey and how the data collected will be used
    2. The target population
    3. The uniqueness of the proposed dataset, as compared to information gained from other existing sources of data
    4. A survey administration timeline
    5. A survey administration mechanism (e.g. paper, web)
    6. Respondent confidentiality safeguards, including an explanation of who will have access to respondent-level (aka “raw”) data
    7. Assurance to the population that participation is voluntary, and nonparticipation will have no adverse effects on the status of the student, faculty or staff member
    8. A plan for communicating results to stakeholders, including the populations being surveyed
    9. Signature from supervisor indicating awareness and approval of the project
  2. It is recommended, though not required, that surveys are proposed at least 2 months, but, minimally, not later than 1 month prior to the proposed administration period to allow time for it to be coordinated with other surveys, and to allow time for the survey to be integrated into campus workflows.
  3. After a proposal is submitted, the 7CIRG will evaluate the proposal within two weeks and name an institutional researcher as a liaison to the project. The IR liaison will work with the group through the life of their survey. If a survey request is not approved by 7CIRG, an appeal may be made to the appropriate consortial leadership committee [e.g. Academic Dean’s Committee (ADC), Budget and Financial Affairs Committee (BFAC) Student Dean’s Committee (SDC)], who will have the final say on the matter.
  4. At the same time, the chair of the 7C IR group will send an email to the appropriate intercollegiate committee with a brief synopsis of the proposed survey for information and if necessary, approval.
  5. After review, the submitting committee, department, or individual will have an opportunity to review all changes, suggestions, or recommendations made by the IR liaison and/or 7CIRG.
  6. Committees, departments or individuals are highly encouraged to meet with their IR liaison to discuss appropriate sample sizes, methods, timelines and analyses.
  7. Survey data will be archived according to the policies of the home institution. As a reminder, the purpose of the survey and any data-sharing activities that may flow from it must be made clear as a condition of approval, not decided post-hoc. If IR is responsible for survey adminstration for an intercollegiate survey, then it will also be housed on the shared 7C IR box.com account.
  8. Additional approvals from other college’s IRB and administrators may apply. This policy applies equally to other members of the consortium (including CUC) who want to survey Claremont College students, faculty or staff.
  9. Research involving human subjects falls under the purview of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and requires IRB approval or an exemption before research can begin.

See IRB policies for exemption classifications under HHS federal regulations and the process for achieving exempt status under CGU’s IRB. If you have additional questions, your IR liaison can offer guidance.