University of Wisconsin System (UWS)

Partners in Achieving Equity — University of Wisconsin System

History of the University of Wisconsin System Equity Scorecard™ Process

In 2005, The University of Wisconsin System (UWS) officials reached out to CUE looking for help.

Despite good intentions, their diversity plan was not yielding the results system leaders were seeking – improved access and outcomes for historically underrepresented students. The system had a rich history of innovation. They had embraced diversity before it became popular. But they also knew that diversity without equity is not enough.

Teaming up with CUE meant that UWS leaders understood that making equity real would require changes in the organizational cultures, policies and practices of the system office and campuses. To address the need for equitable student outcomes, an in-depth examination of system and institutional-level barriers to access, transfer and success was necessary.

Equity Scorecard™ – (2005 – 2008)

Five UW campuses and the two-year UW Colleges participated in the first cohort of the Equity Scorecard™ process. This effort brought about changes in data use such as the disaggregation of student data by race/ethnicity to better inform planning and intervention; changes in attitudes about equity and student success; changes in practice and policy that resulted in new curriculum and instructional practices, as well as outreach and recruitment of students and instructors of color; and faculty engagement to close the equity gaps.

Equity Scorecard™ & Wisconsin Transfer Equity Study – (2008 – 2010)

Scorecard Process – Phase 2 introduced a new group of five UW campuses to the Scorecard process.

Transfer Equity Study – Also launched was the Wisconsin Transfer Equity study, which arose from findings that emerged from work with the first group of campuses. Generously funded by the Ford Foundation, the study was designed to help increase transfer rates from two- to four-year institutions for minority students. To meet the Obama Administration 2020 college completion goals, Wisconsin would need to graduate an additional 269,000 college students on top of those already expected to complete their degrees in the coming decade.

With support from CUE, teams of faculty members, staff, and administrators investigated transfer policies and practices in other states as well as in Wisconsin with a special focus on equity. They examined how to achieve parity in transfer outcomes across racial and ethnic groups.

This analysis provided insights into the interventions needed to enhance transfer—at the level of the classroom, department, and institution and between institutions. The findings led to a set of system level recommendations for change that was brought before UWS Board of Regents’ Education Committee by UWS Senior Vice President Rebecca Martin in June 2011. View Dr. Martin’s presentation here.

Equity Scorecard – (2010 – 2012)

The third group of campuses in the Equity Scorecard™ process furthers the goals outlined in the Growth Agenda for Wisconsin: increase the number of residents with college degrees and increase the degree pathways for the state’s adult population.

UW-Stevens Point and UW – Green Bay are participating in this third cohort of campuses that CUE has worked with over the past six years to improve student outcomes. Evidence teams from both campuses are meeting on a monthly basis and are actively working to conduct data analysis, develop an integrated equity plan, and disseminate findings.