Elements of Equity by Design
Equity by Design focuses on leadership philosophy, localized context, institutional change, and accountability to be more student-ready institutions. They are each critical to a successful implementation of the Equity by Design methodology.
- Leadership Philosophy - Higher education leaders (i.e. Presidents, Campus Diversity Officers, and Senior Academic Officers) who engage their campus teams in this methodology are committed to understanding equity and have the ability to lead in intentional equity-minded ways. More importantly, these leaders support data disaggregation and analysis close to practice; in doing so they support faculty and academic leaders to take an in-depth view of department and course success rates to illuminate disparities. Key components for leadership philosophy include:
- commitment to understanding equity;
- the ability to lead a campus team through the methodology in an intentional and equity-focused way;
- support data disaggregation and analysis close to practice; and,
- lead and support faculty and academic leaders to take an in-depth view of course success rates.
- Localized Context - The Equity by Design methodology considers the institutional readiness to implement the work on-campus. Such readiness includes the campus level of maturation on equity and inclusion, and its capacity to collect, analyze, disaggregate data in actionable and meaningful ways. Furthermore, Equity by Design implementation must consider the socio-cultural environments of the institution and surrounding communities. Consideration for the institutional readiness to implement this work includes exploring the:
- level of maturation (equity & inclusion);
- campus and community context (socio-historical); and,
- capacity (data, research, and equity infrastructure).
- Institutional Change - Equity by Design requires higher education to make changes at the institutional level as the campus strives to be student-ready spaces. As a result of engaging in an Equity by Design process, we must apply a magnifying glass to data, practices, and policies that illustrate academic equity gaps. In doing so, we will drive change in said organizational structures, practices, and policies. Essential to ensuring institutional change are the following concepts:
- Campuses apply a magnifying glass to data and practices that illustrate academic equity gaps.
- Campus teams and leaders will drive change in organizational structures, practices, and policies.
- Apply a magnifying glass to data and practices that illustrate academic equity gaps.
- Accountability - Equity by Design tools and resources necessitate data-informed analysis of equity gaps at the academic department or course level and they lead teams to understand the disparate impact of policies and practices and move to address such disparities. Lastly, this work ensures that campus leaders take responsibility to determine campus-based solutions that address academic equity gaps. Overall, accountability occurs through:
- Equity by Design tools and resources necessitate data-informed analysis of equity gaps at the department or course level;
- campus teams seek to understand the disparate impact of policies and practices and move to address such disparities;
- ensuring that campus leaders take responsibility to determine campus-based solutions that address academic equity gaps; and,
- Data-informed decisions (Equity Scorecard).
For Equity by Design to be successfully implemented, strategies and approaches occur both from a macro (system) and micro (campus) levels. The system-level method includes the development of tools and resource activities, broad-level impact, and accountability. At the same time, the campus approach requires that local stakeholders implement the Equity by Design-related actions, provide opportunities for capacity building, and develop a strong partnership between academic and non-academic stakeholders moving the work forward.