Survey of college climates at all 28 US colleges and schools of veterinary medicine: preliminary findings.J Vet Med Educ. 2014 Summer; 41(2):111-21.JV
In April 2011, a nationwide survey of all 28 US veterinary schools was conducted to determine the comfort level (college climate) of veterinary medical students with people from whom they are different. The original hypothesis was that some historically underrepresented students, especially those who may exhibit differences from the predominant race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, experience a less welcoming college climate. Nearly half of all US students responded to the survey, allowing investigators to make conclusions from the resulting data at a 99% CI with an error rate of less than 2% using Fowler's sample-size formula. Valuable information was captured despite a few study limitations, such as occasional spurious data reporting and little ability to respond in an open-ended manner (most questions had a finite number of allowed responses). The data suggest that while overall the majority of the student population is comfortable in American colleges, some individuals who are underrepresented in veterinary medicine (URVM) may not feel the same level of acceptance or inclusivity on veterinary school campuses. Further examination of these data sets may explain some of the unacceptably lower retention rates of some of these URVM students on campuses.