Project
Investigating Equity Gaps in Course Outcomes and High Impact Practices
Description
The purpose of our project was to build a vehicle to allow academic leaders to explore disaggregated data to determine where equity gaps exist and to lay out a pathway for guiding faculty and staff through addressing those discovered gaps.
Dashboards & Scorecards
4-Year Institution
South Carolina
Melissa Williams-Smith
Research and Data Analyst
Kim Purdy
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Evidence

We worked with Heliocampus to build dashboards that would allow academic leaders to disaggregate data by gender, race/ethnicity, program, Pell status, delivery modality, and other variables. This has taken most of the year to accomplish, working with Helio on data validation and displays.

While waiting for the dashboards, we presented data illustrating that Upstate is quite remarkable in terms of having no equity gap at the moment in 6-year graduation rates of Black and white students, not do we have an equity gap for Pell students.

This has created a sense of pride and we hope it will reduce the tension for broaching the discussion of other equity gaps revealed by our disaggregation of DFW and high impact practices data.

Goal

The goal of our project was to build a vehicle to allow academic leaders to explore disaggregated data to determine where equity gaps exist and to lay out a pathway for guiding faculty and staff through addressing those discovered gaps.

Lessons Learned

Lessons learned include:
- While the lack of overall equity gaps is something to celebrate at the moment, as we dig deeper into the data, we know we will discover equity gaps that must be addressed.
- For instance, the DFW dashboard illustrates that there are great discrepancies in DFW rates across sections of courses that will require brave conversations.
- Given that our student body is almost 50% students of color, we may not expect to see traditional equity gaps. For instance, we have no gender equity gap in English course DFW rates but the DFW data disaggregated by race/ethnicity indicates the DFW rate for Black students is much lower than for white students.
- Disaggregating high impact practices data by race/ethnicity shows some success stories and some areas in which work is needed.