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Survey: PCC Has ‘Healthy Campus Climate’

PCC published the results of a climate study conducted by the N.C. State University National Initiative for Leadership and Institutional Effectiveness in October that concludes the college has "a healthy campus climate."

WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College has published the results of a recent campus climate study that shows scores higher than peer institutions in most of the areas measured and across-the-board improvement at PCC since the same survey was conducted there in 2006.

According to an executive summary from the N.C. State University National Initiative for Leadership and Institutional Effectiveness (NILIE), PCC offered a Personal Assessment of the College Environment (PACE) survey to 477 full-time employees in October and ended up bettering its scores in each of the four domains the instrument measured.

By examining institutional structure, student focus, supervisory relations and teamwork, PACE surveys provide a comprehensive picture of an institution’s campus climate. PCC’s survey stated that the college’s mean score of 3.816 indicated “a healthy campus climate.”

PCC President G. Dennis Massey says the climate survey “gives both general and specific perspectives” on how Pitt employees view their jobs, their working relationships, and the direction of the institution.

“Being determined ‘healthy’ by the N.C. State researchers provides us a general index of satisfaction but, more importantly, ways that we can help make it even healthier in the future,” Massey said.

According to the NILIE summary, 327 PCC employees (68.6 percent) completed the 56-item PACE assessment. Participants answered questions covering each of the four domains being measured by giving rated responses (from a low of “1” to a high of “5”).

When compared to the PACE survey conducted at PCC in 2006, the college improved its teamwork score from 3.79 to 4.08 and its student focus mark from 3.79 to 4.0. PCC’s supervisory relations score rose from 3.68 in 2006 to 3.98 in 2015, and its institutional structure result jumped from 3.12 to 3.41.

“I am extremely pleased that our increase in scores in all categories rose to a statistically significant degree since the last survey conducted in 2006,” Massey said. “It demonstrates that our efforts to improve communications and teamwork over the years have shown improvement. We were able to record these advances with a more than 10 percent greater participation rate than earlier studies.

“We still have room to become stronger, and the specific results from our most recent climate study will guide us in our planning.”

As part of Pitt’s most recent PACE study, the college’s results were measured against scores from 87 institutions in the NILIE National Normbase, 27 large two-year colleges and seven South Atlantic institutions. When compared, PCC bettered the norms produced by those colleges in every domain except institutional structure, which focuses on the mission, leadership, spirit of corporation, structural organization, decision-making and communication within an institution.

While PCC’s institutional structure score was higher than the 3.38 tallied by the large two-year schools, it was lower than the scores produced by the South Atlantic colleges (3.57) and the NILIE norm of 3.45

“At PCC, our performance depends upon the contributions of all our employees and the organizational structure and processes that connect individual and department efforts,” Massey said. “The results compared with national and regional norms created by this nationally-respected research group may suggest that we further improve our structure and communications.”

Within the student focus domain, which examines the centrality of students to the actions of the institution as well as the extent to which students are prepared for post-institution endeavors, PCC scored 4.0. That was better than large two-year schools (3.69), South Atlantic colleges (3.97) and the NILIE Norm (3.75).

In measuring the spirit of cooperation within work teams and effective coordination within teams as part of the “teamwork” domain, PCC had a score of 4.08, a result that was better than large two-year schools (3.63), South Atlantic schools (3.76) and the NILIE Norm (3.70).

PCC scored 3.98 in supervisory relations, which 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. Pitt’s mark was higher than scores recorded at large two-year colleges (3.64), South Atlantic institutions (3.74) and the NILIE Norm (3.67).

Massey, who has served as PCC president since August 2003, said the PCC Board of Trustees has recommended the college administer the PACE study more frequently. Board members, he said, feel the survey gives administrators important feedback from faculty and staff that can be used to modify approaches that make the college stronger.

The full 2015 NILIE report is available on PCC’s official website. Reports from PACE studies conducted at PCC in 2003 and 2006 are also available.