A team of Metro State faculty and staff is taking a deeper look at
issues of equity for students of color at the College. The Equity
Scorecard Project Task Force at Metro State launched phase two of the
project last week, with a two-day meeting on campus.
Phase one of the Equity Scorecard Project used
existing data to examine equity for underrepresented students in the
areas of access, retention, excellence and institutional receptivity.
The phase focused on what members of the team called the what – not the
why – of the status of equity for Metro State’s students of color.
In 2004, Metro State, along with Fort Lewis College in Durango, was
invited by the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education
(WICHE) to participate in the Equity Scorecard Project. The project had
its start at the University of Southern California’s Center for Urban
Education, with a partnership of 14 California institutions. Later,
WICHE was asked to join the partnership in order to expand its impact
to other western states, which led to Metro State’s participation.
The Metro State Equity Scorecard team was appointed in fall of 2004
by then-Interim President Ray Kieft. Phase One was completed in
December 2005; its results were disseminated to the College community
in the 2006 spring semester. At a Feb. 2006 presentation to the Board
of Trustees, President Stephen Jordan said that the work of the Equity
Scorecard team was “very important with where we are trying to take the
The final report included a comparison between the composition of
the population of the seven-county metropolitan area and that of the
student body at Metro State and breakdowns by ethnicity of students
needing remediation as well as their retention and graduation rates.
The report didn’t focus on areas of success, but on areas needing
Among the team'srecommendations were:
• Form a Presidential Diversity Leadership Team to design and implement a diversity plan
• Generate division-specific equity scorecards for each school and student service division
• Have an assessment plan for college-wide support programs and services
Entering the second phase
Phase two of the project moves
beyond an examination of what the data show and into what the causes
might be, in order to generate solutions. In what is expected to be a
yearlong process, the newly reconstituted Equity Scorecard Task Force
got underway last week.
“We lost some members and added some, but we are fortunate to have a
solid core of returning members,” said Associate Professor of Human
Services Shawn Worthy, who co-chaired phase one with Women’s Institute
Director A.J. Alejano-Steele and is co-chairing phase two with Interim
Associate Vice President of Student Life Emilia Paul.
For this phase, the task force is subdivided into two “evidence
teams,” one that is college-wide and one that will focus specifically
on the School of Professional Studies. The SPS study, Worthy hopes,
will provide a model for the other schools to follow. The SPS evidence
team is being chaired by Assistant Professor of Secondary Education
The teams kicked off phase two with a two-day meeting last week with
two consultants from the Center for Urban Education at the University
of Southern California. The meeting began with a presentation to the
College community outlining the basic principles of the Equity
Scorecard; the remainder of the two days was spent with the USC staff
training the two evidence teams.
Phase two will consist of two primary parts, according to Worthy.
First, the teams will update the data they are working with, and look
at any new data or significant changes that have occurred since phase
one. Then, the teams will “drill down further into the data to
understand why some students struggle and others don’t,” said Worthy.
The teams expect to use the data to hypothesize on causes for
inequities, to come up with solutions.
While phase two is expected to take about a year, Worthy says that
the issues identified are set to be revisited annually. “We will be
taking benchmark data, seeing where there are problems, and
hypothesizing causes of those problems to develop solutions. Then we
will need to evaluate annually whether the solutions are working and,
if not, come up with a new hypothesis.”
Worthy says that he is grateful for the support for this project
from President Stephen Jordan and other administrators: “We are
fortunate that Dr. Jordan supports this process, which allows us to
look at Metro State through the lens of equity.”
Editor’s Note: To read @Metro’s four-part series on the phase I results of the Equity Scorecard go to:
Top of Page