|Submission Date||March 31, 2021|
South Seattle College
PA-6: Assessing Diversity and Equity
|0.88 / 1.00||
District Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Sustainability
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:
In 2020, South Seattle College completed a Racial Equity Resource Bank Tool inventory. The Equity Resource Bank (ERB) Tool is starting with reviewing/inventorying racial equity in an understanding that documenting common practices, to improve campus climates, is an important step to examining critical work being done to improve equity. This tool is intended to use critical race theory discussion of community cultural wealth at the Community and Technical Colleges within Washington. As a tool, please share work done within your institution at the division, department, and/or committee level to improve racial equity for student, faculty, staff, and/or community members.
Phase I: Inventory- To identify components and themes for resources available to start an equity bank it’s important to look at the various constituents (students, faculty, and staff) that might use the ERB and/or groups that could be better served from resources and information contributed to the ERB. Understanding major components (access, access + success, and success) and indicators is crucial.
Additionally, in 2020, South Seattle College completed its inaugural Racial Equity Report. The purpose of South’s Racial Equity Report is to bring the issue of racial equity to the forefront, to demonstrate why providing equitable opportunity and support to all of South’s students, faculty and staff is a community priority and to assure that it remains one. With respect to racial equity, the datasets in this report serve as a reflection and baseline of where we are at as an institution, while simultaneously assessing how far we have yet to go to achieve true equitable opportunity for all our students, faculty and staff of South Seattle College.
Does the assessment process address campus climate by engaging stakeholders to assess the attitudes, perceptions and behaviors of employees and students, including the experiences of underrepresented groups?:
Does the assessment process address student outcomes related to diversity, equity and success?:
Does the assessment process address employee outcomes related to diversity and equity?:
A brief description of the most recent assessment findings and how the results are used in shaping policy, programs, and initiatives:
Access at South for Students and Employees
For both students and employees, the single largest racial group was the White group (charts 1, 26). However, White students made up just over a third of students, while White employees made up nearly two-thirds of all employees. The proportion of White staff over BIPOC staff was higher among faculty, as evidenced that three-fourths of credits taught were taught by White faculty (chart 29). Finally, while movement toward a more diverse staff and faculty can often be slowed by the fact that employees often retained for long periods of time, including employee-related metrics that “roll over” more often can gauge the success of diversity efforts. Faculty apply and are selected for stipend work on an annual basis. Over the past three years, the portion of White stipended faculty has increased by 12% points (chart 30). However, the portion of stipended faculty that had not reported a race has fallen by nearly 14% points – possibly indicating a successful effort that more employees report demographic information.
Each fall quarter, just over 20% of students did not report a race, which made “not reported” the second largest race group. These students often had lower rates of success in various metrics, but not knowing the racial demographics of such a large group of students creates a gap in South’s ability to outreach and understand/serve the needs of these students.
The admissions conversion rates point to possible barriers for certain BIPOC group before enrollment. White students were consistently about 10% points higher than BIPOC students from enrollment conversion rates (chart 2a). Native American, Hispanic/Latino, and Black/African American students had rates at or below the BIPOC average (chart 2b).
The cost of college is often a cited as one of the more challenging barriers for community college students, particularly for students of color. Compared to fall enrollment demographics, BIPOC students were overrepresented throughout the financial aid process, including students that started the FAFSA or WASFA process, students with a file ready to review, and students that were eligible for aid (chart 3). In the 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic years, BIPOC students made up a slightly larger portion of students on SAP compared to the portion of students that started the financial aid process that were BIPOC, although that trend was not present in 2019-20 (chart 4). BIPOC students also made up a slightly larger portion of students that went through the Verification 1 and Selective Service processes, but this may be related to requirements of Pell recipients (charts 7, 8, table 13).
Unrelated to the data was an impression among some staff and students that certain financial aid policies at South were more restrictive than other colleges within the district or surrounding areas, specifically in areas where the policy is fully or partially at the discretion of the FA office (as opposed to fully mandated by the state/federal government). This included some policy around the selective service appeal process (“Students whose appeals do not meet the above
criteria will still be allowed to appeal, however, staff will share the decreased likelihood of a positive outcome. Students will be told at this point and in writing with a negative appeal outcome, that they may be able to appeal and receive financial aid at another institution as each school sets different criteria.”)
and tax verification (some students understood they were supposed to provide documents from an accountant to verify tax information, creating a costly
Success Milestones During and After College
In many of the in-college success milestones, White students were not the top performing group, such as fall-to-winter and fall-to-fall retention rates, and rates of completion for college-level math and English courses (charts 14a/b, 15a/b, 16a/b, 17a/b). However, when these measures were further disaggregated, many historically underrepresented groups were consistently below the BIPOC average rate. Additionally, BIPOC students were consistently less likely to successfully complete a course with a passing grade than their White peers. Specifically, groups disproportionately impacted by lower pass rates across divisions include merican Indian/Native American, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander student groups (chart 19). It is important to note that grades and pass rates have ripple effect for all outcomes, such as completion of college-level courses, time-to-completion, award completion, and can create additional barriers, such as loss of financial aid through a SAP designation.
White and BIPOC students had similar award completion rates for the most recent cohort (chart 21a). White students were consistently more likely to transfer if they did not complete an award (chart 22a). While the gap between White and BIPOC rates of employment has declined with past cohorts, White students in the same cohorts consistently had post-college median annual earnings of approximately $10 thousand than BIPOC peers (chart 23). This earnings trend for students did not hold for South employees. On average, BIPOC staff earned more than White staff in the following employee type categories: Administration Exempt, Exempt Pro-Staff, and FT Faculty (chart 27). The Classified employee type was the only type with a higher portion of BIPOC staff compared to White staff, and had the largest gap between White and BIPOC staff pay (on average, White Classified staff made $2,556 more than BIPOC Classified staff annually, or $213 more monthly).
In 2018, BIPOC students were slightly more likely to agree that faculty and staff/administrators made efforts to increase culturally diverse student participation in both the classrooms and college activities than White students (chart 24). However, BIPOC students were less likely to agree that the same groups were culturally sensitive in responding to students’ needs. In a 2020 survey, 28% of students felt they had been discriminated against on any basis, an increase of 4% points from 2019 (chart 25). Similarly, 26% of employees responded they felt discriminated against in the past academic year in 2020 (chart 28a/b/c). That rate increased for BIPOC employees to 33%.
Conclusion and Next Steps
In her President’s Day 2020 speech, President Rosie Rimando-Chareunsap set her vision for the College to become an anti-racist institution. South’s Racial Equity Report was developed to support and guide that vision. We view this as a living document and are committed to updating and refining the contents of this report to best benefit our
conversations, work and actions toward becoming an anti-racist College.
Moving forward, The Office of Institutional Effectiveness in collaboration with the campus community will facilitate open
forums to further discuss the data and findings in this report. These conversations will help us better understand what
information and data we are missing from a quantitative and qualitative perspective, while also defining how we want to
measure our progress – setting targets and goals.
We plan on working closely with the campus community to create and offer professional development opportunities
that will allow us to make necessary change to influence and impact these measures, and ultimately the experiences and
outcomes of our students, faculty and staff.
Once we have moved to ctcLink, we are committed to developing an interactive racial equity dashboard that will provide
real-time access to data and information around identified metrics, such as the ones outlined in this report.
Finally, we are committed to providing data and research (quantitative and qualitative) that will require us to take action
and make change for the better of our campus community, especially our Black and Brown students, faculty and staff
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:
The Office of Institution Effectiveness and partners held a live workshop open to all faculty, staff, and students in late 2020 to discuss the report, findings, and next steps.
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 (upload):
Website URL where the diversity and equity assessment report or summary is publicly posted:
Website URL where information about the institution’s diversity and equity assessment efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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.