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The Equity Scorecard™

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Dr. Estela Mara Bensimon began developing the Equity Scorecard™ in 2001.

The Equity Scorecard™ is both a process and a data tool. As a process, it combines a theoretical framework with practical strategies to initiate institutional change that will lead to equitable outcomes for students of color. What’s unique about it is the engagement of individuals from different departments and divisions in an evidence team which investigates campus data, practices and policies. Near the conclusion of the process, the team will complete a Scorecard which captures the results of its investigations.

It is a change process to solve the problem of inequitable educational outcomes.
Using CUE’s quantitative and qualitative data and inquiry tools for problem-solving, evidence team members become experts on what their campus is doing, and what it could do better, to improve the success of students from underrepresented racial-ethnic groups. Armed with this knowledge, they then set actionable short- and long-term goals.

It is based on research and interdisciplinary scholarship.
Completing CUE’s Equity Scorecard™ process involves a cycle of action inquiry, which includes: the identification of racial and ethnic gaps in educational outcomes, inquiry into instructional and academic support practices, purposeful changes in practices and policies based on the results of systematic inquiry, and evaluation of the implemented changes.

It provides a clear structure leading to meaningful action.
CUE’s approach relies on the practical tools of the Equity Scorecard™ process, such as the Vital Signs, the equity-based Self-Assessment Inventories (SAIs), and the Benchmarking Equity and Student Success Tool™ (BESST). These tools guide teams through fine-grained data analyses with a focus on curriculum, programs, and learning outcomes. CUE provides continuous training and technical assistance from experienced facilitators, as well as evaluation to assess the impact of change.

Who makes up an evidence team?

  • Faculty Members
  • Diversity Officers
  • Student Support Services Personnel
  • Transfer Coordinators
  • Institutional Researchers
  • Administrators

Click here to download a one-page intro to the Equity Scorecard™ process.

What is the role of an evidence team member?
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Evidence team members at the University of Wisconsin.

Evidence team members research their own institutional data and practices. At the outset, they learn why it is important to disaggregate data. Student performance data that is broken down by race and ethnicity allows them to understand what is and is not working for underrepresented students and to begin taking steps to reach parity in outcomes for these students.

Evidence team members learn to shift the focus away from commonly held beliefs in which responsibility for academic success and failure rests entirely with students. Instead, they begin to ask what their institution, and they themselves, can do to improve results. This change in emphasis allows them to approach the problem of inequity as a solvable problem of professional practice.

The Equity Scorecard™ process creates conditions that enable higher education professionals to implement sustainable institutional change.

Colleges and universities across the nation have used the Scorecard process. Check out what educators say about it.

The Five Phases of the Equity Scorecard™ Process


Phase 1: Laying the Groundwork
CUE facilitators collaborate with campus/system leadership to align the Scorecard with existing efforts and identify individuals to serve on the evidence team. The team meets to learn about data and the use of CUE’s tools.

Phase 2: Defining the Problem
Evidence team members use the Vital Signs as a starting point to investigate campus data and increase their knowledge about existing student outcomes.

Phase 3: Assessing Interventions
The evidence team uses the Benchmarking Equity and Student Success Tool™ (BESST) to identify and prioritize intervention points. They then identify institutional practices that positively or adversely affect student success through the use of Self-Assessment Inventories.

Phase 4: Implementing Solutions
The evidence team sets short-term, actionable objectives and long-term equity goals for priority areas of concern.

Phase 5: Evaluating Results
The evidence team completes the Equity Scorecard™ and with CUE’s support shares its findings and goals with the system/campus.

Click here for a more in-depth overview of the five phases that make up the Equity Scorecard™ process.

(We're) not just looking at what students are or are not doing, and focusing on student deficits, but thinking about what the institution can do differently. This is different from other work that has been done.


- Wisconsin evidence team member

Center for Urban Education
University of Southern California
Rossier School of Education
Waite Phillips Hall, Suite 702
Los Angeles, CA 90089

Phone: (213)740-5202
Fax: (213)740-3889
E–mail: rossier.cue@usc.edu