Inequity: Higher Education’s Enduring Feature

CUE’s groundbreaking work on inequity is featured in AAC&U’s new issue of Peer Review as an effective and innovative action-oriented approach the addressing issues of inequity in higher education. CUE is one of thirteen institutions featured in the issue, which is titled Committing to Equity and Inclusive Excellence.

CUE Director Dr. Estela Mara Bensimon and Associate Director for Research and Policy Inequality Dr. Lindsey Malcom-Piquex address the issue of continued inequity in higher education in their article Taking Equity-Minded Action to Close Equity Gaps. In the article they state that inequity is “one of the most enduring features of our nation’s higher education system.” Racial/ethnic and class-based disparities in college access, enrollment, and completion persist despite years of programmatic and policy efforts to counteract them… The differences in college enrollment and college completion among historically marginalized and white and affluent populations have widened, suggesting that postsecondary education remains ‘separate and unequal’.”

The article identifies the “silver lining to this situation [which] is that policymakers and institutional leaders increasingly recognize the urgent need to focus their efforts and resources on creating equity in higher education.” The focus is on the principles of Equity-Mindedness, and how an equity-minded mental framework teaches practitioners to understand “equity gaps in outcomes and the action needed to close them.”

Five Principles of Equity Mindedness

  1. Equity-Minded Practitioners, Practices, and Polices Are Race-Conscious in an Affirmative Sense.
  2. Equity-Minded Practitioners, Practices, and Policies Reflect an Awareness of and Responsiveness to the Systemic Nature of Racial/Ethnic Inequities.
  3. Equity-Minded Practitioners View Inequities as Problems of Practice and Feel a Personal and Institutional Responsibility to Address Them.4. Equity-Minded Practitioners Rely on Evidence to Guide their Practice.
  4. Equity-Minded Practitioners Take Action to Eliminate Educational Inequities.

Read Taking Equity-Minded Action to Close Equity Gaps.

Read Committing to Equity and Inclusive Excellence.

Malcom-Piqueux, L., Bensimon, E. M. (2017). Taking equity-minded action to close equity gaps. Peer Review: Committing to Equity and Inclusive Excellence, vol 19(2).