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 is funded primarily by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and has recently been re-funded for an additional three years. PACE has 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 resulting in data from a sample of over 10,000 engineering undergraduate students from 22 schools.

The PACE survey data has been analyzed to create an overview of results for schools, as well as reports for individual schools

The PACE Schools are using 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 data is being analyzed to help bolster findings and create more nuanced and contextualized results that can be used by schools and the engineering education research community.

The PACE climate survey is being re-administered to collect additional data and assess changes in climate within the PACE schools.

Focus groups will be conducted after the completion of the climate survey to help better understand the state of climate and 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