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Equity April: Frequently Asked Questions
Q: My idea/action is already in the 2015-16 plan. Do I need to attend Equity April workshops since my team and I already know what we’re doing?
A: Yes, if you intend to continue your work into 2016-17.
Q: Are you serious? We have to go to 4 workshops in April? Do you people think we have nothing better to do?
A: Forming a team will make this process much easier, so you won’t be shouldering the responsibility by yourself. Your Equity Innovation Concept & Action Plan (EICAP) would benefit by being represented at all 4 workshops, and your team should set up a communication mechanism among yourselves in case you all cannot attend the workshops together. Equity work requires collaboration and integration of planning, which will simplify and strengthen our efforts by avoiding duplication.
Q: What is an EICAP again?
A: “EICAP” stands for “Equity Innovation Concept and Action Plan.” In other words, an EICAP is an outline of the equity issue you wish to address, the equity indicator (or indicators) it addresses, and a specific plan of action, which includes assessment and evaluation of its effectiveness.
Q: What if I’m interested in participating in Equity work, but I don’t have a specific idea?
A: Come to the first workshop! You might get an idea and then decide to form a team. Or you might join an existing team that’s working on an EICAP that interests you. Attending these workshops is also an educational opportunity, because it will give you a clearer picture of what the Student Equity Plan involves.
Q: What are the five equity indicators, and which groups are disproportionately impacted (DI) among them?
A: They include the following, along with the DI groups:
- Access: The DI groups include males, students with disabilities, Asian students, veterans, Hispanic/Latino students, and Black/African American students.
- Course completion: The DI groups include foster youth, Black/African American students, and Hispanic/Latino students.
- Basic skills completion: The DI groups include Black/African American students, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander students, students with disabilities, and Hispanic/Latino students.
- Degree and certificate completion: The DI groups include students with disabilities, Black/African American students, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander students, and Hispanic/Latino students.
- Transfer: The DI groups include students with disabilities, Black/African American students, and Hispanic/Latino students.
- You can learn more about each of these indicators and the DI groups at SCC by reading our 2015-2016 Student Equity Plan.
Q: How is “disproportionate impact” calculated?
A: The state has a specific formula that allows us to identify our most disproportionately impacted populations.
Q: Why just focus on race? Questions of injustice and inequity are so much broader than that.
A: Equity efforts don’t just focus on race; they address all groups that are disproportionately impacted across the five indicators. Title 5 regulations (title 5, §54220(d)) specify that, at a minimum, colleges must review and address the following populations when looking at disproportionate impact in student equity plans: American Indians or Alaskan natives, Asians or Pacific Islanders, Blacks, Hispanics, Whites, men, women, low-income, persons with disabilities, foster youth, and veterans. At SCC, there are significant disparities between racial and ethnic groups across all indicators. Closing those achievement gaps requires a consideration of race.
Q: As a group, low income students have low performance for some indicators. Why are they not one of the target populations for Equity April and the Student Equity Plan?
A: Because the majority of our students at SCC are low income, using income as a benchmark isn’t very helpful when addressing disproportionate impact. However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t think about financial barriers when creating EICAPs.
Q: I’m nervous about participating in Equity work. What if the state gives us all this money, and we aren’t successful in moving the needle? This feels like a setup.
A: Money doesn’t always move the needle. But a paradigm shift will. Creating space for paradigm shifts to happen is the spirit behind all Equity work. On a more pragmatic level, it is important for us to be proactive with the EICAPs we create, the action research we conduct to assess their effectiveness, and the ways in which we utilize the results. Engaging in a collaborative inquiry-based process will help us in those efforts.
Q: What if my idea has nothing to do with these indicators? Or my idea doesn’t address these particular populations?
A: Come and participate anyway! You’ll get a better understanding of the equity plan and how the state defines equity.
Q: Can Equity money be used to hire staff?
A: Yes, if their work is directly related to moving the needle on our disproportionately impacted groups. Up to 60% of the budget can be used on PERMANENT staffing. This is monitored very closely by the district. Not every project can hire a staff member. Moreover, there are various processes SCC and the district have to hire staff, so if you are allocated funding for hiring, you must follow these processes. Come to Equity April to learn more about what might be possible.
Q: Can Equity money fund space, computers, furniture, and/or office equipment?
A: No. More information about appropriate use of Equity money can be found here.
Q: If I checked “Equity” in my department or area unit plan, do I still have to apply for Equity dollars through this process?
Q: I didn’t put anything in my unit plan regarding Equity. Can I go back and change it?
A: Not for next fiscal year 2016-17. However, If you receive Equity funds for the 2016-2017 year, your unit plan for 2017-2018 should reflect that.
Q: When should I check the EQUITY box on the unit plan?
A: When you have had a conversation with your department and/or Division Dean about a project or initiative that you think meets an allowable expense for equity.