Project to Assess Climate in Engineering


What is PACE?

The Project to Assess Climate in Engineering (PACE) is a long-term, multi-site research project looking at climate in undergraduate engineering programs with a focus on persistence and retention. PACE began in 2006 and funding ended in 2014. PACE was funded primarily by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. PACE had a supplemental grant from the Engineering Information Foundation. PACE consists of both qualitative research, including interviews and focus groups, and quantitative research, including a climate survey.  PACE is headquartered at the Center for Evaluation & Research for STEM Equity at the University of Washington.

PACE Outcomes

The PACE team and PACE schools worked together to implement changes in order to make engineering programs more welcoming and inclusive for undergraduate students. The PACE outcomes are as follows:

The PACE climate survey was administered in 2008 and again in 2012 resulting in two data sets with samples of over 10,000 engineering undergraduate students from 16 to 22 schools.

The PACE Schools used these results to implement new programs and initiatives that aim to improve climate and create a more inclusive environment, especially for gender and ethnic minority students.

PACE interview and focus group data helped bolster findings and created more nuanced and contextualized results to be used by schools and the engineering education research community. The focus groups aimed to better understand the impact of interventions in undergraduate engineering.

PACE results have been featured in various journal articles, professional presentations, newsletters, and magazines.


PACE Participants

Each of the following schools has contributed to PACE data collection efforts through at least one of the PACE projects.

  • Arizona State University
  • Boston University
  • California State University, Los Angeles
  • Clemson University
  • Howard University
  • Michigan Technological University
  • New Jersey Institute of Technology
  • New Mexico State University
  • North Carolina State University
  • The Ohio State University
  • The Pennsylvania State University
  • Purdue University
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
  • Texas A&M University
  • Texas Tech University
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Michigan
  • The University of Texas at Austin
  • The University of Texas at El Paso
  • Virginia Polytechnic InstituteWorcester Polytechnic Institute