Updated COVID Protocols

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Delaware County Community College, Serving Delaware and Chester Counties

Conducting a Survey at the College


The increase in survey projects involving faculty, staff, students and employees of Delaware County Community College has expanded substantially in the last few years. There is a growing concern that if a protocol is not put in place to regulate this growth, there could be a decrease in response rates and an increase in survey fatigue.  In response to this trend, the College is instituting a survey protocol.

The protocol will:

  1. Ensure that projects in which students and employees are asked to participate are in line with the College’s priorities;
  2. Protect the privacy of students and employees (e.g. FERPA, informed consent);
  3. Increase safety around data collection, dissemination and usage;
  4. Ensure that surveys are conducted in line with best practices;
  5. Monitor survey frequency and redundancy in order to avoid survey fatigue;
  6. Allow the Office of Institutional Effectiveness to combine similar questions into one survey in order to reduce redundancy.


This protocol covers:

  1. Surveys involving 30 or more current, former or prospective students;
  2. Surveys involving 30 or more College employees (staff, faculty, administrators);
  3. Surveys for which a sample is required.

This protocol excludes the following types of surveys:

  1. Class projects surveying only students in that class;
  2. Surveys distributed on social media and other sources external to the College;
  3. Point of service surveys intended to gather satisfaction information from individuals who used a given service;
  4. Intake questionnaires used to determine participants needs or program eligibility (e.g., intake forms used for tutoring);
  5. Course evaluation forms.


  1. If the purpose of the survey is conduct research (e.g. dissertation, publication), then do the following:
    1. Submit an IRB to the Institutional Review Board. Information about the IRB process is available online (Information about IRB).
    2. After the IRB has been approved, submit a survey request form along with a copy of your instrument.
  1. If the purpose of the survey is for program evaluation (and is not intended for publication or research) or to determine if there is a need for a program/activity, submit a survey request form and a copy of your instrument (if you don't have one, we will work with you to create the instrument) to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

Applicants will be notified of the status of their application within 10 business days.

Approval for Survey Request

Survey Request will be judged based on the following criteria:

  1. The survey supports the College’s institutional priorities relating to program review, program evaluation, strategic planning or accreditation.
  2. The quality of the instrument and sampling method (if there are issues, the IE Office will liaise with the individual requesting the survey).
  3. The extent to which the population of interest has been surveyed over the last year.
  4. The information desired cannot already be obtained from available sources (e.g. a similar survey that has been completed).

Census Survey

A census survey is a survey in which all members of a given college community are expected to participate (e.g. all students, all faculty, all employees). Except the individual requesting a survey can provide strong justification, the IE Office will not conduct a census survey. Instead, the Office will use a random sample of appropriate size to gather information from stakeholders.


Deadline to submit survey request for Fall Semesters is August 29.

Deadline to submit survey requests for Spring semester is January 15.

Deadline to submit survey requests for the Summer is May 15.