About the Curriculum
The Data Equity Fellowship brings together, faculty, staff and administrators to collaborate on meaningful data-informed projects positioned to improve equitable outcomes.
Communities of Practice
Working together, we build on each other’s strengths and expertise to uncover best practices, methods of collaboration, and targeted approach for DEI.
Best Practices for Addressing Equity Gaps
Collaborating with Faculty to Address Equity Gaps
Collecting and Using Qualitative Data
DEI in Community & Technical Colleges
DEI in Health Professions-Focused Institutions
DEI in Minority Serving Institutions
DEI in Predominantly White Institutions
Disaggregating Data
Engaging in Courageous Conversations
Methodologies for Identifying Equity Gaps
Key Questions We Ask

How can we best represent all students within our data systems?

How can data be used most effectively to inform efforts to improve outcomes?

How can successful initiatives be sustained and scaled for impact?

How We Define Success

Our goal is to bring together colleagues across domains to collaborate on a data-informed project to improve outcomes for all students.

We define success as professional growth, progress towards improving those outcomes, and building a long-term network to support your efforts.

About the Fellowship

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) fosters through its accreditation standards, policies, and eligibility standards a process of continuous quality improvement centered around student success and the fulfillment of each member institution’s unique mission. NWCCU’s unique accreditation model allowing institutions to define their mission; core themes; and meaningful, assessable, and verifiable indicators of achievement that form the basis for evaluating mission fulfillment respects the diversity of institutions within the region and their methods of educational delivery, culture, and measures of student achievement.

NWCCU’s Data Equity Fellowship prepares higher education leaders to advance institutional mission fulfillment and equity initiatives through data-informed approaches to assessment, reflection, and planning to eliminate equity gaps. The Fellowship is designed to bring together faculty, staff, and administrators that identify as “data focused” or “equity focused” to collaborate on a meaningful data-informed project with expert facilitation to improve equitable outcomes. The Fellowship is unique in its approach to bridging “data” and “equity” roles with a strong focus on effective collaboration across roles, departments, units, and functional areas; emphasis on using agile methods for institutional transformation; planning for sustainability and scalability; facilitation by national experts; and active engagement in communities of practice.

Fellows are expected to work in pairs (or small teams) of institutional partners to produce a final project advancing their institution’s mission-aligned goals to improve equitable outcomes.

The Fellowship’s curriculum is designed to enable equitable participation regardless of geographic location. Therefore, Fellowship activities are conducted in a 100% remote format (online, travel is not required) with special consideration given to differing levels of access to high-speed internet. In addition to monthly Fellowship and Community of Practice meetings, presentations and “office hours” with national experts in the fields of data equity and diversity, equity, and inclusion, Fellows will collaborate towards a final project designed to advance the equity goals of the Fellows’ own institutions.

Fellowship materials, presenters, and expert consultants have been selected to offer Fellows a wide range of modern and highly relevant subject matter, including: optimizing the value of data in effective institutional planning and decision-making, effectively using data and analytics to guide increased equity and institutional mission fulfillment, working effectively with qualitative data, creating a culture of evidence and excellence, core principles of data equity, using of agile methods to support institutional transformation, planning for sustainability and scalability, quality improvement, and how national and regional policy shapes institutional practice. Fellows will also be placed in small-group peer Communities of Practice based on the Final Project area selected.

Curriculum: Five Units

Unit One – Foundations and Groundwork

  • Foundational knowledge of frameworks and key concepts in the field of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and the value of a data-informed approach
  • Foundational knowledge of core data equity principles
  • Aligning DEI statements with strategic goals
  • Strategy for using data & analytics to support mission fulfillment

Unit Two – Defining Areas of Focus

  • Equity practices that facilitate building equity-minded culture
  • Data identity self-assessment and relation to collaborative efforts
  • Qualitative data, disaggregated data, and “close to practice” data
  • Planning for data-informed, equity-focused initiatives

Unit Three – Creating Solutions & Inquiry

  • Leveraging resources effectively for DEI initiatives
  • Using data to improve programs and services
  • Using data to monitor and address student concerns
  • Interviewing methods and survey design
  • Coding qualitative research using technology
  • Engaging with a Community of Practice

Unit Four – Scaling & Sustaining

  • Sustaining data-informed initiatives to improve equitable outcomes in terms of staffing, resources, engagement, data cycles, monitoring and evaluation, and continuous improvement
  • Scaling data-informed initiatives beyond the scope undertaken during the Fellowship in terms of including more stakeholders, expanding to other functional areas or departments on campus, or increasing project scope
  • Agile approaches to innovation and exploration

Unit Five – Sharing Knowledge

  • Fellowship Showcase presenting to Communities of Practice, national experts, accreditation staff, Data Equity Fellows, and (in future years) Fellowship alumni
  • Fellowship case studies
  • Experiential qualitative research activity
Final Project

Data Equity Fellows will present a final project applying a data-informed approach to an equity-focused challenge/opportunity at their institution. The Fellowship team from each institution will collaborate and present a single project that analyzes, interprets, and integrates data equity principles into their own institutions’ planning, facilitates a collaborative solution with diverse internal stakeholders to advance equitable student learning, student achievement, and mission fulfillment within the Fellows’ institution.

The project should include a description of the challenge or opportunity experienced at the Fellows’ institution (and the historical context), reflection upon current literature and best practices, the data equity principles applied, and a discussion and analysis of the implementation efforts employed during the Fellowship. Finally, the project should offer a reflection upon how the solutions brought to bear on the opportunity/challenge could be sustained and applied to broader contexts or different institutional challenges.


Graduates of the Data Equity Fellowship will be able to:

  • Apply equitable data practices to inform culturally relevant, mission-aligned DEI efforts and plans of action across a variety of institutional settings
  • Use national data sources related to DEI in human resources, future postsecondary students, student success, and alumni and postgraduate outcomes
  • Analyze, interpret, and integrate data (quantitative and qualitative) into institutional planning, evaluation, improvement, and accreditation processes
  • Analyze institutional activities through a data-informed equity lens and collaborate effectively with diverse stakeholders to advance student learning, student success, equitable outcomes, and mission fulfillment
  • Build a culture of engagement, data literacy, equity-mindedness, and agile transformation at the institutional level through the process of understanding, analyzing, communicating, and facilitating collaboration with key stakeholders

The Fellowship is open to faculty, staff, and administrators who are committed to:

  • Optimizing the value of a data-informed approach to improving equitable outcomes
  • For “data-focused professionals”: developing expertise in the core principles of data equity and understanding the key concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)
  • For “DEI-focused professionals”: developing expertise in building an equity-minded culture informed and supported by effective use of data and analytics
  • For the Fellowship team: strengthening the ability to collaborate effectively across departments, units, and functional areas to research, plan, implement, monitor, evaluate, and improve data-informed initiatives to eliminate equity gaps
  • Advancing institutional practices and expertise around the equitable use of data to support assessment, retention, student success, and institutional measures of quality with an equity lens
Tuition and Costs

Tuition cost for the Data Equity Fellowship is $4,900 per Fellow. Institutions that wish to send more than the required two (2) Fellows, or who wish to send only one, should contact the Fellowship Director. In future years, Fellows will meet at the NWCCU annual conference for special programs and professional and social networking opportunities.

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We honor and acknowledge the land on which we work.

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities sponsors the Data Equity Fellowship and is located on the traditional homelands of the Duwamish, Stillaguamish, and Coast Salish peoples who have lived in these territories from time immemorial, and are still here today.

We extend our honor, respect, and gratitude to them, and to their elders and descendants—past and present—in continuing to enrich our lives through sharing their wisdom in allowing us to gather on their traditional lands.