Closing Equity Gaps in Student Success

What can we do to support students and close equity gaps? This page provides a step-by-step process for individual faculty or department teams who are looking for evidence-based strategies.

  • Individual faculty / courses: At what point in your course do students start struggling?
    • How do you know? [Do you know?]
    • Why might they struggle?
  • Department teams: At what point in their progress in the major are students leaving?
    • Why are they leaving?
  • Look at the reasons you came up with in the previous step. Which are about student deficits? For example, common reasons that focus on student deficits include lack of preparation, lack of motivation / laziness, poor study skills, etc.
  • Adopting an equity-minded cognitive framework requires shifting the focus from what students are doing or not doing to what WE (the institution and instructors) are doing or not doing. For example, instead of focusing on students’ lack of preparation, an equity-minded instructor might ask, “How can I find out early on whether my students have the background knowledge I am expecting? And then what resources and support can I provide to help them acquire any requisite knowledge they might need?” With this in mind, what are YOU doing, or not doing, that contributes to your students’ struggles in your course?
  • Select evidence-based strategies that will address issues identified in Step 3
  • What specific actions must happen in order to implement those strategies?
  • What incentives, resources, or other factors may affect your ability to successfully implement those strategies? How will you address any challenges?