As postsecondary institutions enter an era of "evidenced-based" practice and take greater responsibility for monitoring student outcomes, they must also assess the impact of the diverse environments that help shape student learning. Assessment of what students do must be coupled with identifying areas for improvement of student learning and development. Integrating assessments of student learning outcomes related to the climate for diversity and campus practices—and responding proactively to assessment results —may be the best strategy to ensure that we support all students, especially traditionally underrepresented students, and advance their capacities for success.
The DLE survey is based on research that states optimizing diversity in the learning environment can facilitate achievement of key outcomes, including improving students’ habits of mind for lifelong learning, competencies and skills for living in a diverse society, and student retention and success.
The design and pilot phase of the DLE was generously supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation.
Higher Education Research Institute
About the DLE:The Diverse Learning Environments Survey (DLE) captures student perceptions regarding the institutional climate, campus practices as experienced with faculty, staff, and peers, and student learning outcomes. Diverse student populations are at the center of the survey, and the instrument is based on studies of diverse student bodies and the complexity of issues that range from student mobility to intergroup relations. Selected specific components include:
- Discrimination and Harassment
- Positive Cross-racial Interaction
- Negative Cross-racial Interaction
- Institutional Commitment to Diversity
- Academic Validation in the Classroom
- Satisfaction with Diverse Perspectives
- Student Financial Difficulty
- Interpersonal Validation
- Sense of Belonging
- Curriculum of Inclusion
- Co-Curricular Diversity Activities
- Navigational Action
- Student Support Services
- Integration of Learning
- Habits of Mind
- Pluralistic Orientation
- Social Action
- Civic Engagement
- Student Enrollment Mobility
More Information on the Philosophy Behind the DLE
Hurtado, S., Arellano, L., Cuellar,M., & Guillermo-Wann, C. (2011). Diverse Learning Environments Survey Instrument: Introduction and Select Factors
Using the DLE Survey:Results from the DLE are particularly useful in understanding student learning outcomes related to the campus climate for diversity. Pairing those outcomes with campus practices allows for a deeper understanding of the strategies that support all students and improve their ability to succeed. Because of the DLE’s focus on outcomes, many institutions will find results valuable in strategic planning and accreditation activities. The information is also valuable to students and researchers interested in learning more about the conditions that foster access, equity, and success within higher education.
Schools participating in the DLE survey receive an institutional profile report, which includes institutional results broken out by sex, comparisons with other similar institutions, significance testing, effect sizes, and CIRP Constructs and Themes, and a data file of unit record responses for the institution.
See the DLE Survey in action
Administering the DLE:
Administered anytime between October 1, 2012 and June 28, 2013.
- It is a web-based survey which is easy to manage through our web portal.
- It is administered annually to students at both 2-and 4-year institutions who have had the opportunity to experience the campus climate (i.e., after 24 credit hours in community and 2-year colleges or second-and third- year students at 4-year institutions).
- Institutions are encouraged to maximize their survey administration by adding any of the 5 modules to their core survey participation.
- Institutions also have the opportunity to customize elements of the survey, including: adding closed ended questions of institutional importance or in conjunction with a consortia, uploading a school logo, and customizing the invitation and reminder correspondence.
The Survey Instrument
- 2013 DLE Core Survey Instrument
- All institutions participating in the DLE administer this “core” section of questions.
- 2013 DLE Classroom Climate Module
- This optional module asks respondents about their perception of the classroom environment and the various types of pedagogical practices employed by instructors
- 2013 DLE Transition to the Major Module
- This optional module asks respondents about their experiences in selecting a major. It is appropriate for students who have not yet declared a major as well as those who have declared a major. Because many institutions report student attrition at this point in college, this information may be useful to help campuses investigate difficulty at this important transition stage
- 2013 DLE Intergroup Relations Module
- This optional module asks respondents about their capacity to engage respectfully across group differences.
- 2013 DLE Climate for Transfer at 2-Year Institutions Module
- This optional module asks respondents about practices at 2-year institutions regarding the transfer pathway and climate of support. It is designed for 2-year institutions and community colleges only.
- 2013 DLE Climate for Transfer Students at 4-Year Institutions Module
- This optional module asks respondents about their transitional experiences understanding the campus climate at 4-year institutions. It is designed to be administered at 4-year institutions, and it contains questions relevant to all respondents as well questions specifically for those who transferred to the institution.
Important Forms and Documentation
- Administration Guidelines Necessary information for schools concerning the administration of the DLE
- Timeline and Strategies for a Smooth Administration on Campus
- Survey Administration Checklist A one-page summary of administration responsibilities
- Survey Information Sheet Copy of the informed consent given to survey respondents
- UCLA IRB Approval Notice Copy of the current UCLA IRB approval for the DLE
- Information About Payment Using Purchase Orders Information about payment using purchase orders
- Information on using HERI's Email Distribution Service Information about how to prevent survey invitations and reminders from HERI being filtered out as bulk or junk mail.
Fees / Withdrawal Policy
$3.25 per survey processed
Customized Welcome and Thank You Pages
Integrated additional questions
Email distribution to students
On-line Data Analysis
Upon registration, institutions are sent one bill for the participation fee. After each institution completes their survey administration and returns the data for processing, the per-survey processing fees are calculated and a second bill is sent to each institution for their respective processing charges. Institutions are also billed separately for any Data Service Orders they may place, and these bills are sent out after the completion and fulfillment of each Data Service Order.
Institutions may cancel without penalty up to the time that the unique web log-in codes have been sent to your institution, or distributed per the institution's direction. If the web log-in codes have already been sent to your institution or distributed via HERI's email distribution service to the intended survey participants, institutions will be charged a withdrawal fee of $100. In addition, if HERI has provided any customized services at your request (e.g., integrated additional questions, etc.), you will also be responsible for the full cost of these services.