Our impact of closing equity gaps at partner institutions is achieved by engaging various actors on campus (i.e. faculty, administration, staff) through a process of self-inquiry. When various practitioners engage in this change process, they improve student success outcomes and also have the tools and framework to continuously reassess their practices, policies, and structures that all impact student success.
Whether it is in an individual workshop or an entire Equity Scorecard process, practitioners learn how to dynamically engage in equity work on their campus. At the root of our focus is data, race discussions, campus collaboration (buy-in), and self-inquiry. Once practitioners and faculty focus on these areas and realize how their practices are impacting student success – especially among students of color – substantial changes can occur to organizational and cultural perspectives of a college.
Seeing Impact in Student Success Data
Equity in Excellence, a two-year, $1 million project funded equally by the Ford Foundation and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was the start of an ongoing partnership between the Community College of Aurora and CUE. CUE’s work in Aurora results in real, substantial changes to student success.
The Center for Urban Education facilitated the development of mechanisms by which the Community College of Aurora could identify and correct inequities arising from the campus infrastructure and policies, and from its faculty and staff ’s attitudes, behaviors and beliefs. The creation of such mechanisms is driven by the Center’s “equity scorecard,” a tool analogous to “balance scorecards” used by businesses to match visions and goals to outcomes. – from Developmental Mathematics: For Whom? To What End? (pg. 40, in March 2015 Critical Issues in Mathematics Education)
The following graphs show student data before and after a Mathematics department redesign, which was part of the Equity in Excellence Project. Download the full document here, or by clicking on the images.
How do we impact equity gaps?
We provide practitioners with the framework they need to educate a more diverse student body
Our theory of change is based on the belief that faculty, staff, and leaders want to do the “good” for students, and that “doing the good” to achieve equity requires a special kind of expertise that we call equity-mindedness. We help practitioners develop this equity-minded framework.
We help campuses use data to identify and address equity gaps
CUE works closely with institutional researchers (IR’s) to integrate data into equity discussions. We gather data from areas other than those used for compliance reporting, (i.e. faculty diversity, course completion sections, student support services) all disaggregated by race and ethnicity. By doing this, campuses see which racial groups are underperforming. These data findings are communicated to the larger campus community.
We develop first-generation equity practitioners and implementation innovators
CUE’s expertise is in building the capacity among faculty and administrators in higher education for equity-minded inquiry, strategic planning, and ground-up reform. Our process creates sustained, authentic, and at-scale changes in the way colleges and universities “do business” in order to engage practitioners to create innovations and strategies that yield more equitable outcomes for marginalized students.
We bring campuses together
Whether it is a workshop or the Equity Scorecard Process, our action research strategy brings key actors at an institution together to review data, engage in race conversations, and/or participate in an inquiry process that creates change.
We have the framework, tools and processes needed to address student success gaps
The Center for Urban Education is the creator of the Equity Scorecard Process, which is an action research process that includes theories of change, tools, framework and sustainability practices that allow campuses to address equity gaps and embed practices for sustained change. Various aspects of Equity Scorecard Process are used with campus collaborations across the United States.