Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 59.69
Liaison Susan Dorward
Submission Date July 31, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

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

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.88 / 1.00 Susan Dorward
Sustainability and Energy Coordinator
Facilities and Grounds
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution engaged in a structured assessment process during the previous three years to improve diversity, equity and inclusion on campus?:

A brief description of the assessment process and the framework, scorecard(s) and/or tool(s) used:

RVCC routinely and systematically assesses diversity, equity and inclusion on campus.

1) For administrative and/or business functions, employees utilize the standards of excellence developed by the Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) in Higher Education. There are 14 CAS standards that are assessed by each department on a three-year cycle. An assessment calendar is kept up-to-date and is accessible to the internal community on a shared drive. (See the sample CAS calendar.) The CAS assessments are also posted to an internal shared drive. The specific standards that address diversity, equity and inclusion on campus are: Standard #5: Ethics, Standard #7: Equity and Access, and Standard #8: Diversity.

2) Guiding the entire College climate is RVCC’s Strategic Plan. The four pillars of the Strategic Plan are:

1) Increase Student Success

2) Implement a Strategic Enrollment Management Plan

3) Increase Strategic External Partnerships

4) Increase Equity, Sustainability, Collaboration, and Civic Engagement

Each one of the pillars addresses diversity, equity and inclusion. For example, Pillar #1: Increase Student Success, focuses on closing the achievement gap for underserved and at-risk students. For Pillar #2, RVCC’s Strategic Enrollment Plan includes outreach to underserved communities and the development of multi-lingual Web pages and brochures. Pillar #3, increasing strategic partnerships includes developing mentoring programs for at-risk students and finding donors to support DACA students. The 4th Pillar specifically address this issue by increasing civic engagement opportunities, such as Service Learning, community-based research, action-driven co-curricular activities, internships, and independent research projects; by advocating for employee diversity by utilizing recruitment and retention best practices; increasing conservation initiatives, including reducing the campus’s carbon footprint and water usage by 10% by 2020.

The Strategic Plan as well as its corresponding metrics are posted on RVCC’s Website and made visible to internal and external viewers. https://public.tableau.com/profile/rvcc.ir#!/vizhome/RVCC2018-2021StrategicPlanProgressReport2018New/Pillar1Actualvs_Target

3) The newly formed Diversity Council, which is a new Forum Committee, (the Forum is the shared-governance structure of the College) was established to enhance the organizational climate of the College to improve equity, diversity and inclusion. Recent accomplishments of the council include developing a statement on inequality, discrimination and violence, and proposing a policy to guide the College community in the development of campus displays that enhance the educational experience of our students and to address challenges that may arise relating to campus displays located in public areas of the college.
For employees:
The College is committed to assessing this area every 3 years. The last assessment was done in 2016.

The program ensures fair and equitable treatment to all by following employment laws, collective bargaining agreements 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)

Does the assessment process address campus climate by engaging stakeholders to assess the attitudes, perceptions and behaviors of faculty, staff, administrators and students, including the experiences of underrepresented groups?:

Does the assessment process address student outcomes related to diversity, equity and success (e.g. graduation/success and retention rates for underrepresented groups)?:

Does the assessment process address employee outcomes related to diversity and equity (e.g. pay and retention rates for underrepresented groups)?:

A brief description of the most recent assessment findings and how the results are used in shaping policy, programs and initiatives:

Part 1: RVCC’s assessment process includes all stakeholders. The CAS assessments requires a representative group of individuals, from both inside and outside of the college, to participate in the evaluation of the standards of excellence. The Strategic Plan was built on input from internal
and external constituencies, ranging from county politicians to RVCC alumni. The Diversity Council is made of faculty, staff and administrators. The following statement was passed as a resolution in support of marginalized communities.

“Given RVCC's commitment to diversity and social justice as advocated for by its Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, the Paul Robeson Institute for Ethics, Leadership, and Social Justice, as well as its many national awards celebrating the college's efforts and accomplishments to embrace diversity, and its numerous academic and non-credit courses/programs examining prejudice including racism and its consequences:

· We as a diverse community unequivocally believe that hate has no place in our community, in our country, or anywhere in the world.

· We denounce all forms of hate, fear-mongering, bigotry, and white supremacy against the “Other” by working to support an inclusive community.

· We stand together in solidarity with others who condemn the inequality, discrimination and violence that is occurring in our nation and across the globe.

· We support the hundreds of volunteers, relief workers, and organizations who work to preserve, save, and enhance the lives of people who have been marginalized by social injustices, political oppression, and natural disasters.”
Part 2: Many of RVCC’s metrics for its Strategic Plan focus on closing the achievement gap for under-represented and at-risk groups of students. These metrics are updated each semester and programs are created or modified to improve student learning outcomes. The following are the metrics used to monitor the success of RVCC’s Closing the Achievement Gap initiative. RVCC assesses:

· First Term Credit Success Rate for First-time in College Students

· First-time in College Developmental English Students Completing College English within Two Years

· First-time in College Developmental Math Students Completing College English within Two Years

· Market Share Penetration Rates in Targeted High Schools

· 3-year graduation & transfer rate for Black/African American and Hispanic students.

· First term credit success rate for Black/African American and Hispanic students

· Percentage of full-time faculty who are non-white.
Part 3: RVCC’s Human Resources Department routinely assesses its outcomes related to diversity and equity. This is accomplished as part of its 3-year CAS assessment cycle and on a yearly bases as part of its annual review process. In addition, for every employment search undertaken, a diverse search committee is formed and is charged with conducting an equitable search. A sampling of outcomes from the Human Resources department over the last 3-years include:

· Hiring managers receive training and assistance to ensure that our hiring practices are consistent and transparent.

· Applicant pools are diverse and reflect the demographics of our communities.

· We are guided by Collective Bargaining agreements therefore salary and benefits are applied equitable.
Part 4: RVCC received the 2018 HEED Award which is a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. RVCC was the only New Jersey College or university to receive that honor in 2018. The recognition provides evidence of RVCC’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. This commitment translates into policy, programs and initiatives at RVCC.

RVCC has both Board and operating policies that support equity, diversity and inclusion. The College conducts routine Title IX training and has a policy that all new employees receive sexual harassment training. The First Year Experience program (specific program for incoming students) in coordination with the Dean of Student Affairs Office, administers an online Sexual and Domestic Violence Prevention program to all first-year incoming students annually.

RVCC provides diversity programs annually to 5,000 students, faculty, staff and community members through a series of lectures and cultural programs. A sampling of these initiatives include the Kente Ceremony, Diversity Fair, MLK Community Partner Breakfast, and the Holocaust and Genocide Learning Through Experience Program.

Some of the College’s many community outreach and co-curriculum programs related to diversity initiatives include:

· Paul Robeson Institute for Leadership, Ethics and Social Justice and its 27-year-old Paul Robeson Youth Achievement Award program, which celebrates African American middle and high school scholars.

· Malcolm Bernard Historically Black Colleges and Universities College and Transfer Fair, which serves 1,300 NJ high school students.

· CRECER program, which helps to prepare Latino high school students for transition to college and offers career readiness exploration.

· From Boys to Men Conference, a partnership with the New Brunswick (NJ) Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., which empowers Black and Latino high school students to become lifelong learners and to increase civic engagement.

· Girls to Women Conference, a partnership with the Raritan Valley section of the National Council of Negro Women.

· One Book Program, which encourages the campus community to read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. One Book is a yearlong project featuring book discussions, panels and other programs.

· Diversity Podcast, which offers an online resource of noted presentations and speakers for the community.

· Scholarship and Transformative Education in Prisons (STEP), which enables students, especially in underserved communities, to earn an Associate Degree.

· Sister to Sister and Brothers Helping Brothers Network, which provides a supportive environment to improve academic success, student satisfaction, retention and graduation rates for students of color through a wide range of services.

· The College also has a number of diverse student clubs and organizations including the Alliance, Association of Black Faculty and Staff, Black Student Alliance, Diversity Council, International Student Association, Orgullo Latino, Filipino P.E.A.C.E. Club, Muslim Student Association, United Caribbean Students, English as a Second Language Club, African Students Association, and the RVCC Women’s Center.

Are the results of the most recent structured diversity and equity assessment shared with the campus community?:

A brief description of how the assessment results are shared with the campus community:

Each week, President Michael McDonough shares with the entire College community a “Message from the President.” In his weekly message, he recognizes faculty, staff and student

accomplishments in all college. RVCC’s Institutional Research Department publishes a “FACT Book” reporting on student achievement (including transfer and graduation rates), student and staff demographics, high school market share and many other metrics. This is made available to the College community on the shared drive. The College’s Public Relations department sends out press releases to the external as well as internal communities notifying individuals about accomplishments and programming opportunities and the Marketing Department updates the Website with all pertinent and required information. All strategic Planning Metrics are posted to the Website and available to the public. The Forum meets on the first Tuesday of every month where all Forum committees (such as the Diversity Council) can report out to the College community.

Are the results (or a summary of the results) of the most recent structured diversity and equity assessment publicly posted?:

The diversity and equity assessment report or summary:

The website URL where the report or summary is publicly posted:

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

Information provided by Jacki Belin and Cheryl Wallace (HR)

Information provided by Jacki Belin and Cheryl Wallace (HR)

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.