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Campus Climate

K–12 students at UCLA Event

How campus climate affects students

Numerous studies have concluded that how students experience their campus environment influences both learning and developmental outcomes,[1] and that discriminatory environments have a negative impact on student learning.[2] Research supports the value of a diverse student body and faculty for enhanced learning outcomes.[3]

Students thrive in healthy environments, free of the negativity of discrimination, where inclusion and respect for diversity is the norm.

How campus climate affects faculty and staff

Faculty members, administrators and staff members are significantly impacted by campus climate.[4] According to workplace studies, a healthy work environment greatly enhances personal and professional development of employees. Research suggests that faculty members who consider their campus climate healthy and inclusive are more likely to feel personally and professionally supported. Research also suggests a direct relationship between workplace discrimination and negative job and career attitudes.[5] In addition, faculty and staff who have encountered prejudice directly attribute its negative effects to decreased health and well being. Creating a healthy campus climate is as important for faculty and staff as it is for students.

[1] Pascarella, E. T., & Terenzini, P. T. (2005). How College Affects Students: A Third Decade of Research. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass

[2] Cabrera, A. F., Nora, A., Terenzini, P. T., Pascarella, E., & Hagedorn, L. S. (1999). Campus racial climate and the adjustment of students to college: a comparison between White students and African-American students. The Journal of Higher Education, 70(2), 134-160. doi: 10.2307/2649125

[3] Harper, S. R., & Hurtado, S. (2007). Nine themes in campus racial climates and implications for institutional transformation. New Directions for Student Services(120), 7-24. doi: 10.1002/ss.254 Higher Education Research Institute. Diverse Learning Environments: Assessing and Creating Conditions for Student Success Retrieved August 15, 2010

[4] Settles, I. H., Cortina, L. M., Malley, J., & Stewart, A. J. (2006). The climate for women in academic science: The good, the bad, and the changeable. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 30, 47-58. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6402.2006.00261

[5] See 1) Silverschanz, P., Cortina, L., Konik, J., & Magley, V. (2007). Slurs, snubs, and queer jokes: Incidence and impact of heterosexist harassment in academia. Sex Roles, 58, 179-191. doi: 10.1007/s11199-007-9329-7  Waldo, C. (1999). 2) Out on campus: Sexual orientation and academic climate in a university context. American Journal of Community Psychology, 26, 745-774. doi:10.1023/A:1022110031745. 3) Rankin, S. R. (2003). Campus Climate for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered People: A National Perspective. New York, NY: National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute.