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Pathways of Public Service and Civic Engagement – International Working Group

Pathways on the Stanford campus
Photo: David Gonzales

Pathways Diagnostic Tool

(Note: data collected through this Pathways Diagnostic Tool link is not recorded and may be used multiple times if required.)


The Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University invites participation in an international working group to advance our understanding of students’ interests and pre-dispositions regarding approaches to social change: community engaged learning and research, community organizing and activism, direct service, philanthropy, policy and governance, and social entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility.  The working group’s focuse will be on implementation, analysis, use, and refinement of the Pathways of Public Service and Civic Engagement Diagnostic Tool.

To join the working group, an institution or program must commit to the following:

  1. Identify a primary liaison willing to be responsible for administration of the tool and who will participate, when available, in periodic (3-4 per year) conference calls with other working group members.

  2. Implementation of the Pathways of Public Service and Civic Engagement Diagnostic Tool with at least one cohort of students at their institution (a class, program, etc.).

To join the Pathways of Public Service and Civic Engagement International Working Group, please send an email to Annabel WongAssessment and Evaluation Associate .

 Advising Guide

Evolution and Development of the Diagnostic Tool

The tool was originally created to serve as a guide for student advising. Based on the Pathways of Public Service and Civic Engagement, the Haas Center for Public Service developed a diagnostic tool for use across multiple types of higher education institutions, programs, and/or courses. Kristy Lobo, the Program Director of Student Development and Leadership at the Haas Center, spearheaded the development of the prototype diagnostic tool and Andrew Suciu, a graduate student at Stanford University, developed the code for graphic visualization of the data. The tool was piloted in 2014-15 with several programs at Stanford University and at the Catholic Institute for Lasallian Social Action at St. Mary’s College of California.

Modifications have been made with input from Campus Compact member institutions and through a series of workshops and webinars hosted by Campus Compact, the Community College National Center for Community Engagement, NASPA, the American Gap Association, and the Building Bridges Coalition. We anticipate continued refinement in future years with input from members of the working group.

As the tool was refined, it evolved to serve three interrelated purposes:

  1. Improve the quality of advising with individual students.

  2. Understand the needs and desires of students to guide programming.

  3. Conduct longitudinal research regarding college student pre-dispositions.

The Pathways of Public Service and Civic Engagement International Working Group will be managed by the Haas Center for Public Service and serve as a cross institution working group to implement, improve, and use this tool for these purposes.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Use of the Diagnostic Tool

May I replicate/modify the survey and use it at my institution?
While it would be easy for a campus to replicate the questions, the advising potential is greatest through the data visualization, which is difficult to replicate. From a research perspective, the tool is most powerful when campuses/programs use the same instrument. We ask that colleagues are respectful of the work that was put into developing the tool.

Will my campus have access to the data?
Yes. Every participating campus will have access to their respective campus data.  During the summer, we will compile the data into a single file, removing individual campus identifiers, and share it with participating campuses. If your campus has a Qualtrics license, we can share the survey with you so that you are able to view/download the data.

Are you open to suggested changes?
Yes. However, to ensure consistent administration across campuses, we will not modify the survey after July 1st for each subsequent year’s distribution.

Can we add questions for our particular institution?
Not at this time, but possibly in the future. We do not currently have the bandwidth to accommodate adding questions for individual campuses.

Is there a fee to participate?
There is currently no fee to participate in the group. We may pursue collaborative funding opportunities in the future.

Can we use the survey as a pre/post?
While only one link will be created for each participating institution, data will be time-stamped so you may be able to discern “pre” from “post” using the time stamp (e.g. one series of responses in October, one in May). If you want to link individual pre/post responses, you will need to encourage (but not require) participants to include their email.

Do I need to pursue Human Subjects Review at my campus?
Each campus should inquire with their respective Institutional Review Board. The survey has been approved by IRB at Stanford University and Saint Mary’s College of California, and it will be required if you hope to publish using the data in the future.

When is the best time to administer the survey?
It will ultimately depend on how you are using the survey (for advising, program development, research, or multiple ways), but we recommend that the first administration of the tool be before facilitating a workshop on the pathways. This reduces potential bias regarding their predisposition.

What kind of workshops do you do with the Pathways?
We’ve developed several workshops and are willing to share them. We will post write-ups of various workshops on a website dedicated to informing colleagues about the Pathways Diagnostic Tool. We encourage participating campuses to write up innovative workshop ideas – we’ll post them to the website and share them during conference calls.

How will campuses using the tool communicate with each other?
The Haas Center for Public Service will host quarterly conference calls with the working group (3-4 per year).

How do we join?
Have your primary liaison email Annabel Wong indicating your desire to participate in the working group for the upcoming year. Annabel can also answer any questions you may have about participation.