The Interfaith Diversity Experiences & Attitudes Longitudinal Survey (IDEALS) seeks to better understand student encounters with religious, spiritual, and worldview diversity across the spectrum of American higher education. As colleges and universities increasingly seek to engage religiously diverse students, actionable data and empirically-driven decision making are more important than ever before.
IDEALS helps ensure that institutions have the knowledge base necessary to set a meaningful agenda toward this important aspect of diversity. Findings will be used by institutions and practitioners alike, helping campuses understand key indicators to track, identify interfaith initiatives that are most effective, and pinpoint high impact practices for further exploration.
The Interfaith Diversity Experiences & Attitudes Longitudinal Survey (IDEALS) is currently being administered at approximately 122 campuses, comprising a diverse and representative sample of colleges and universities.
The Interfaith Diversity Experiences & Attitudes Longitudinal Survey (IDEALS) is part of a national study examining how undergraduate students from across the country engage with religious, non-religious, and spiritual diversity while in college. IDEALS is unique because it captures information about the student experience across four years, which in many cases encompasses students’ entire college careers. This research design makes it possible to examine how students’ interfaith diversity experiences and attitudes change over time, and to pinpoint programs, activities, and other environmental factors that foster meaningful interactions with diverse others.
The other unique aspect of IDEALS is the scope of the research study. Administered at 122 institutions nationwide, IDEALS makes it possible to compare the experiences of students from different institution types—public and private, large and small, secular and religiously affiliated. It is the first of its kind to address U.S. college students’ engagement with interfaith diversity in such an expansive and nuanced manner.
More About IDEALS
Meet Our Survey Partners
Dr. Matt Mayhew
Matthew Mayhew is the William Ray and Marie Adamson Flesher Professor of Educational Administration with a focus on Higher Education and Student Affairs at The Ohio State University. Dr. Mayhew is interested in how collegiate conditions, educational practices, and student experiences influence learning and democratic outcomes ranging from moral reasoning to high-risk drinking behaviors.
Mayhew has published articles in Research in Higher Education, Journal of Higher Education, Review of Higher Education, the NASPA Journal, the Journal of College Student Development, Ethics and Behavior, and Journal of Moral Education. He has co- authored a chapter in Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research. Mayhew has also received several grants for exploring the impact of college on student outcomes, including, but not limited to, moral reasoning, spirituality, high-risk drinking, and innovative entrepreneurship. He earned his doctorate in higher education administration with a focus on research, evaluation, and assessment from the University of Michigan in 2004.
Dr. Alyssa Rockenbach
Alyssa Rockenbach is Professor of Higher Education at North Carolina State University. Her research focuses on the impact of college on students, with particular attention to spiritual development, religious and worldview diversity in colleges and universities, campus climate, community service engagement, and gendered dimensions of the college student experience.
Rockenbach’s research has been featured in a number of higher education and interdisciplinary journals, including Research in Higher Education, Journal of Higher Education, Journal of College Student Development, Gender and Education, and Religion and Education. In 2012, Dr. Rockenbach co-edited Spirituality in College Students' Lives: Translating Research into Practice with Dr. Matt Mayhew. She has been honored with national awards, including the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Emerging Scholar Award, the Annuit Coeptis Emerging Professional Award, and the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Religion & Education SIG Emerging Scholar Award. Dr. Rockenbach earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of California, Los Angeles and her B.A. in Psychology from California State University, Long Beach.