Information for HERI Survey Users During the COVID-19 Pandemic
During this time of uncertainty, and in consideration of the actions taken at institutions of higher education across the country to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), HERI staff want to ensure flexibility for your current and upcoming survey administrations. We appreciate your patience as we navigate how to best work through this unprecedented event.
For more than 50 years, including during times of war, terrorist attacks, school shootings, and natural disasters, institutions have been administering surveys of undergraduate students as part of the Cooperative Institutional Research Program. During these disruptive events, campus reps commonly wonder about the possibility or extent of bias in their data. Survey data reflects the pulse of current events, particularly those that are as pervasive as this one, affecting the daily routines of undergraduates, faculty, and staff. Consequently, researchers, journalists, historians, and sociologists, all of whom study human behavior, find that all data, even if collected under extenuating circumstances, has value and tells a story, even if that story isn’t the one we expected to tell.
Administering a survey during the pandemic
We appreciate the valuable feedback many of you have already shared with us. The most important aspect of pending and ongoing survey administrations that we can and should consider right now is our awareness of how any request to participate in one of our surveys might be received by participants. Given this concern, we want to help you to decide upon the most sensitive approach moving forward. Some campuses may decide to proceed with planned or current administrations already in the field. For other campuses, this decision might be to cancel or delay their survey administration for this cycle. We support the decision that best fits the needs of your institution and we are here to help you navigate that process. We urge you to approach survey administration sensitively, but with the long-term impact in mind. The data collected over the next few months could help us understand how such major events impact our students, faculty, and staff colleagues.
The HERI Faculty Survey
UPDATE 3/30/2020: The 2019-2020 HERI Faculty Survey close date has been extended to May 29, 2020. If you left the close date blank on existing orders, it would automatically change to the new default date. If you entered “4/30/20” or any other date, it would not change. If you would like to adjust your survey close date for the 2019-2020 HERI Faculty Survey, please log into the portal (www.cirpsurveys.org)
The HERI Faculty Survey is a triennial survey, thus we are exploring the possibility of offering a fall administration of the Faculty Survey for institutions that are unable to complete a spring 2020 administration due to COVID-19. If this option is of interest to you, please contact us.
Your First College Year Survey
Many institutions administer the YFCY survey during the month of March, thus the timing of the campus closures, extended spring breaks, and many moving to online instruction more severely impact the YFCY than some of our other surveys. For campuses who have collected some data or are possibly considering administering the survey a bit later than planned, we encourage you to consider how you invite students to participate and ultimately frame the importance of the survey. Some students may view a survey request about their first-year experience as insensitive at a time when they have been asked to leave campus and/or participate in classes remotely. However, other students may welcome the opportunity to have an outlet to communicate their perspectives and experiences to campus leaders. The YFCY survey administration close date will remain June 15, 2020.
College Senior Survey
Paper survey orders: Many schools continue to administer the CSS via paper. We are not able to deliver CSS paper surveys at this time. We will reassess this possibility on May 1 and provide updates on the delivery of paper survey orders and the processing timeline for completed surveys. Alternatively, we are able to help you administer the survey online if you choose to do so.
Considerations for administering to seniors: This is certainly a time of turmoil for undergraduates, and seniors are affected even more so, as they grapple with the changes they face over the course of the next few months. At the right time, perhaps in a few months if possible, capturing their concluding thoughts after spending four (or more) years on your campus will be an important contribution they provide to your institution and the greater research community. The CSS administration close date will remain June 30, 2020.
Staff Climate Survey
UPDATE 3/30/2020: The 2019-2020 Staff Climate Survey (SCS) close date has been extended to May 29, 2020. The survey close date will remain the date you entered when placing the order, so if you would like to update your survey close date, please log into the portal (www.heri.vainc.com).
Diverse Learning Environments Survey
The DLE survey is scheduled to close on May 15. If a later survey close date would allow you more flexibility in administering the survey at your institution, please contact us. We are considering an extension of a few weeks for the DLE survey. Many campuses have already completed administration or are very close to their survey close date. Please feel free to contact us to discuss the best course of action for completing your DLE survey administration.
CIRP Freshman Survey
UPDATE 3/26/2020: We are not able to ship TFS 2020 paper instruments at this time. We expect to resume delivery on April 10. You may still place an order for TFS 2020 administration via paper or web.
Administration of the CIRP Freshman Survey is on schedule as planned. Registration and administration is open. The CIRP Freshman Survey can be administered now through October 10, 2020. Please visit the CIRP Freshman Survey Overview page for more information.
Cancellation or Postponement
Surveys that have not yet launched: If your administration is not already in progress (survey links or paper instruments have not been distributed to participants), please contact us to cancel at no cost to your institution. We will not assess any fees for late cancellations for those institutions whose surveys have not launched.
If you have made a payment (i.e., $1,000 deposit, or payment in full), we will contact you individually to coordinate a refund and/or transfer of the funds to a future HERI survey administration.
Surveys already in progress: If you have already launched your survey and collected responses from participants, you are welcome to halt the collection of responses going forward; however, due to our research protocols and standards regarding human subjects, any data already collected will be considered a part of the national study. If you choose to cancel mid-administration, prorated fees will be incurred, so please contact us.
Communicating with the HERI Survey Team
We understand the events are changing rapidly, so please stay in contact with HERI staff as conditions and decisions at your institution clarify your plans for administering HERI surveys over the next few months. HERI staff are currently working remotely and are available to assist you with any questions. The best way to reach us is via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.