Understanding Equitable Systems and Processes
In order to improve retention rates for undergraduate students from year one to year two, this project sought to begin to understand systemic supports and challenges present at Heritage University, a small HSI and NASNTI in rural Washington state.
Identify Equity Gaps
4-Year Institution
Gloria Jones-Dance
Associate Professor, Teacher Preparation
Corey Hodge
Interim Vice President of Student Affairs / Chair, Department of Social Work

This project is connected to language in Heritage University's mission and strategic plan: Heritage University empowers a multi-cultural and inclusive student body to overcome the social, cultural, economic and geographic barriers that limit access to higher education. Rooted in the homeland of the Yakama Nation, we embrace transformational student-centered education that cultivates leadership and a commitment to the promotion of a more just society.


The goal of the project is to better understand the systemic supports and challenges present at Heritage University that may impact year one to year two retention rates of students.

Lessons Learned

Lessons learned from this project include:

Lack of an IRB impacts the ability to carry out data equity projects.

Planning for multiple years is needed.

Realistic timelines are important.

Suggested changes in the interest of greater equity include:

Increased sharing of information between faculty, Student Affairs, and Financial Aid could help with equity and retention.

Increasing the involvement of Yakama Nation Higher Ed to support student participation in processes.

Explore strategies to allow students greater influence.

Data flow could be more collaborative and clearer. Common access and dashboards woudl increase equity.