Equity Analysis of Undergraduate Participation in Community Engaged Learning
Our project aims to identify equity gaps in undergraduate student participation in community-engaged learning.
Identify Equity Gaps
4-Year Institution
Natalia Dyba
Director of Global Engagement and Connected Learning Assessment
Jose Rodriguez
Curriculum and Assessment Coordinator, Office of Academic Success

Theoretical grounding: National research on the positive effects of student involvement in High Impact Practices (HIPs), including service learning, called community-engaged learning at UW Bothell.

Data biography: We utilized existing data sets of UW Bothell students who participated in courses embedding HIPs, including Community-Engaged Learning and Research (CELR) and Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL), during AY2017-20 and AY2020-21. Our data excludes extra-curricular service learning, participants in other HIPs, and non-participants. It's also limited by data categories used in institutional databases, e.g. binary options for gender.

Methodology: A data analyst completed the following steps:
1. Merged datasets, accounting for discrepancies in coding of certain fields, most notably race/ethnicity.
2. Analyzed CEL participation data by student demographic subgroups: race/ethnicity, first generation status, gender, entry type (transfer vs. first time first year), Pell grant eligibility, and academic school/program.
3. Compiled data on subgroup breakdowns in total undergraduate population AY2017-21 from institutional dashboard, BI portal.
4. Calculated and visualized comparative rates of CEL participation vs. undergraduate enrollment by various student demographics.


Our project aims to identify equity gaps in undergraduate student participation in community-engaged learning. This is in alignment with campus strategic priorities of enhancing community engagement and strengthening equity and diversity, and provides important context for assessment of undergraduate learning goal #6: Application of theory and skills that contribute to the public good through mutually beneficial engagement with the community, which mandates that every degree-seeking undergraduate has available courses along their academic trajectory and the feasibility to participate in curricular community-engaged learning.

Lessons Learned

Lessons learned include:
- Many of he differences seen in our analysis can be explained by varying curricular integration of CEL and student demographics across schools/programs.
- We need more CEL opportunities in the First Year and Pere-Major Program (FYPP) and the School of STEM.
- Historically marginalized student subgroups, including first-gen, Pell-eligible, Black, and Latinx students, participated in CEL courses at a higher rate in relationships to campus enrollment rates, in contrast to national literature.
- We shared findings with campus stakeholders in April and in July. A question that emerged in these conversations is how best to prioritize overrepresentation of minoritized groups.