Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Susan Dorward
Submission Date April 14, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Raritan Valley Community College
PA-5: Assessing Diversity and Equity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Richeleen Dashield
Dean of Multicultural Affairs
Office of Multicultural Affairs
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Has the institution assessed diversity and equity in terms of campus climate?:

A brief description of the campus climate assessment(s) :

RVCC's Institutional Research department has conducted a graduating student survey twice annually since 2005. The results of the surveys are posted in a shared location for employees to access. There are four questions about diversity. (RVCC also conducted a campus climate survey (NCHEMS – National Center for Higher Education Management Systems) in fall 2009. One question addressed diversity two questions addressed equity.)

Has the institution assessed student diversity and educational equity?:

A brief description of the student diversity and educational equity assessment(s):

For the last three years, Raritan Valley Community College has participated in the national achieving the Dream which is a comprehensive non-governmental reform movement for stustudent success in higher education. The Achieving the Dream National Reform Network leverages targeted focus areas to close achievement gaps and accelerate success among diverse student populations, particularly low-income students and students of color. These integrated building blocks in concert with our four approaches advance individual and system-wide strategies, ultimately providing measurable and sustainable outcomes for students and colleges alike.
Under the Achieving The Dream, RVCC focused on four broad initiatives in Year One:
1. Improving the pass rate in elementary algebra
2. Completing academic plans for students in their first year – focusing on PELL students
3. Systematizing Early Alert process
4. Improving placement process

The ultimate goal for three years is to increase our completion/graduation rate.
1. Last summer we ran a pilot program—MathPath—to allow students who placed into developmental math to enroll in an individualized, self-paced program developed by Pearson and the College Board. The students took the diagnostic ACCUPLACER, and the result was a “learning path” tailored to the needs of that particular student. In addition to the self-paced program, students were asked to meet with a tutor at least once per week. After completing the requisite modules, they had the option to retake ACCUPLACER (new students) or the departmental final exam (current students who have failed the regular course); if their retesting was successful, they moved into the next level of math. The results are being analyzed both for the change in immediate placement and the success in the subsequent math course.
The initial results indicated 25 students moved up one developmental level as a result of completing Math Path. Students who completed at least 50% of their Math Path program had an average 25 point increase in their ACCUPLACER score. For the students who tested out of Elementary Algebra after retesting with the ACCUPLACER, seven took a math class Fall 2012, 5 were successful. For the twenty students who were not able to test out of Elementary Algebra 20 (out of 38) took Elementary Algebra this past Fall, 10 were successful.
2. Academic Planning is the process of mapping a student’s path to completion. Currently advisors are creating written programs for students. Our initial target group is PELL recipients, and we will analyze the data at the end of each term to measure persistence. At the present time we have recorded plans for 650 students.
3. Systematizing the early alert process was the third major goal this year and started in the fall with impressive participation, including a little over 1300 “flags.” In early alert notification, faculty flag specific academic issues students exhibit during the 3rd and 4th weeks of the term. Subsequent interventions are based on that issue the instructor has identified as most critical, e.g., attendance, writing skills, etc. Tutors, academic advisors, and the academic dean follow up with students.
4. Reviewing and improving student placement processes is just getting started and will include what materials we can make available to students before testing, how we can promote the value of preparation, whether we can require students to review material before testing (or retesting) and the use of multiple measures in determining placement. While both English and math placement will be reviewed, reconsideration of math placement in particular will be the primary focus. Students’ success in placement will be tracked.

In addition, a new service learning module as part of the College Experience Course. The module was developed and implemented to encourage student engagement in diversity programs at RVCC. Students worked in assigned small groups to identify 3 cultural programs from the Fall Heritage series to attend. Each student was responsible to bring a friend and share student learning outcomes from the program using social media (RVCC Facebook and RVCC Twitter). Students shared their experiences and encouraged to attend the heritage programs via social media. All college experience courses will require students to complete a similar diversity service learning project in Fall 2014.
Supporting Outcomes:
• Student learning outcomes include exposure to, and participation in social, cultural, and intellectual events/programs.
• Encouraged student involvement in the campus and community.
• Provided opportunities for growth in individual and group settings.
• Exposed to various cultures and experiences, ideas and issues, art and life styles.

Has the institution assessed employee diversity and employment equity?:

A brief description of the employee diversity and employment equity assessment(s):

The College is committed to assessing this area every 3 years. The last assessment was done in 2013.

The program ensures fair and equitable treatment to all by following employment laws and College policies.

The assessment ensures that:
- the college facilities, programs, and services are accessible and that hours of operation and delivery of and access to programs and services respond to the needs of the constituents.
- the programs and services adhere to the spirit and intent of equal opportunity laws.
- the program policies and practices do not discriminate against any potential users.
- the program acts to remedy imbalances in participation and staffing
-services are conveniently available and accessible to all constituents ( both local and distant)

+ Date Revised: May 19, 2015

Has the institution assessed diversity and equity in terms of governance and public engagement?:

A brief description of the governance and public engagement assessment(s):

The Diversity Council was established in spring 2011 with the purpose to develop and implement initiatives that promotes diversity and inclusion within our campus community. Valuing diversity is part of our college mission and serves as a core value at Raritan. The committee is comprised of 15 diverse members representing the faculty, student and staff. In addition, the Office of Institutional Research and Human Resources lend their expertise in the development of key areas. The purpose of the council is to provide leadership in identifying strategies to improve diversity and equity; provide pro-active leadership to ensure an inclusive and welcoming climate that nurtures a multicultural community of students, faculty and staff; review and analyze college and other diversity related data to be shared with the college community, as well as encourage decision makers to make use of relevant data to assess current status and identify areas needed for improvement regarding under-represented populations.
Supporting Outcomes
• Diversity Grant Writing Workshop was facilitated by the Department of Academic Partnership who provided participants with resources and tools to develop a strong grant application. The grant application, criteria and budget was reviewed.
• Diversity Grants These grants were funded by the Office of Multicultural Affairs. Three categories of support included recruitment and retention, outreach and campus climate. Each applicant submitted a letter of endorsement. The awards were in two categories: Outreach – CRECER program (student recruitment) and Campus Climate – Rice and Spice (Asian art exhibit and lecture program) and Visualizing Civil Rights (exhibit and literary resources).
• Diversity Council reviewed and analyzed college and other diversity related data to be shared with the college community, as well as encourage decision makers to make use of relevant data to assess current status and identify areas needed for improvement regarding underrepresented populations.

The website URL where information about the assessment(s) is available:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.