WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 1, 2016—A report released today by NASPA—Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education shows that the Culture of Respect Engagement (CORE) Blueprint Program, a program devoted to helping institutions to strengthen their response to and prevention of sexual violence on campus, is an effective model to address this issue in higher education.
The report, Culture of Respect CORE Blueprint Program: Findings From a National Pilot Study, is the result of a yearlong, 14-institution pilot program designed to build campus stakeholders’ capacity to make meaningful changes to policies and services, while engaging them in an ongoing process of feedback and reflection.
The CORE Blueprint was created by Culture of Respect, an initiative of NASPA, together with a team of researchers and experts in advocacy, student affairs, higher education policy, and law, and is the program’s guiding document, designed to engage students, parents, faculty, administrators, health professionals, athletes, and other campus stakeholders in implementing practices and policies that shift the culture to one free from sexual violence.
The six pillars of the CORE Blueprint are:
- Survivor support with options on reporting;
- Clear policies on misconduct, investigation, adjudication, and sanctions;
- Multitiered education for the entire campus;
- Public disclosure of statistics;
- School-wide mobilization with student groups and leaders; and
- Ongoing self-assessment.
The study found that as a cohort, the participating colleges and universities accomplished meaningful changes across all six pillars of the CORE Blueprint. Progress was particularly impressive in enhancing support services for survivors and providing training for campus employees.
“Meaningful change happens when there are discussions of policy, programming, and procedures at a 10,000-foot level, and when students benefit from those efforts on an individual level. Students are critical actors in changing the campus culture and survivors need to feel like their schools have their back, that they’re believed and supported,” says Senior Director of Culture of Respect Allison Tombros Korman. “The participating institutions went above and beyond compliance to try something new and innovative for their students and their culture. They held themselves accountable in order to create change for all campus stakeholders and found success.”
Pilot institutions demonstrated the most success under the Survivor Support pillar, as shown by successful efforts to change policy, improve and expand services, and launch new initiatives. Specifically, there was a 63 percent improvement in providing survivors access to long-term medical and mental health care and a 64 percent improvement in training those qualified to assist survivors in a culturally sensitive manner. Additionally, there was an enormous improvement in a key area of professional development for campus stakeholders—the report showed a 91 percent improvement in institutions training faculty and staff in how to identify the warning signs of a student who has been sexually assaulted.
“Our participation in the pilot program validated that we are moving in the right direction to create a campus environment that is respectful and supportive,” said Susan Hua, Director, Equity and Diversity, Title IX Coordinator, California State University, Northridge. “And through our participation in the CORE Blueprint Program we have identified—and are further addressing—gaps that were preventing us from achieving our goal of meaningful culture change.”
While the CORE Blueprint is prescriptive in its broad strategy, its flexibility in implementation can be tailored to fit the specific needs, diverse student populations, and unique infrastructure, systems, and traditions of individual institutions of higher education.
After completing the pilot program and study, Culture of Respect is offering an adapted version of the CORE Blueprint program model that integrates feedback from pilot participants on successes and challenges. Almost 60 institutions of higher education are enrolled in this program—the Culture of Respect Collective—that is available through an online platform with new programmatic components including revised and updated versions of CORE Blueprint and CORE Evaluation, and a suite of tools to support participants implementation efforts, CORE Constructs.
For more information about accessing these tools and for a list of participating institutions, please visit the Culture of Respect website.
NASPA—Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education is the leading association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession. Our work provides high-quality professional development, advocacy, and research for 15,000 members in all 50 states, 25 countries, and 8 U.S. territories. Visit naspa.org for more information.
About Culture of Respect
Culture of Respect, an initiative of NASPA, helps colleges and universities strengthen their sexual violence prevention and response efforts. We offer higher education leaders a six-point strategic roadmap, the CORE Blueprint, that engages all campus stakeholders—students, parents, faculty, administrators, health professionals, athletes and more—in implementing the leading practices to shift campus culture to one free from sexual violence. Visit CultureofRespect.org for more information.