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Chaparral 2015-2016: 24.1 Student Equity

Student Equity Plan and You (Explained) Part II (September 2015)

Student Equity Plan and You (Explained) Part II

by Theresa Lorch

Many of you are aware of the Student Success and Support Program (a.k.a. 3SP), and the unique function of the Student Equity Plan.  For those who may not be, the Student Success and Support Program addresses the needs of ALL of our new students for specific services which have been identified as helping to provide a foundation for their success as they pursue their educational goals. These services include orientation, assessment and the development of student educational plans (SEPs). EVERY student who comes to our college is expected to be provided these services.

The Student Equity Plan also addresses student success, but the express purpose is to close the achievement gaps[1]of GCC Disproportionately Impacted (DI) students (including African-American, Asian, Filipino, Latina/o, foster youth students, plus student Veterans, students with disabilities, and male students) according to the following Measures of Success:

  • Access
  • Course Completion
  • College-Level ESL, English and Math Completion
  • Certificate and/or Degree Completion
  • Transfer

To reiterate, DI student groups are identified according to the available educational performance data revealing disparities in these measures of success. Not only does each community college analyze the performance of specific groups of students at their institution, the state mandates we determine how we may better serve the DI students with best practices to assist them in achieving their academic goals.

So, not only are we interested in augmenting our excellence delivery of education through 3SP efforts, we also desire to level the playing field for students who need a leg up. The image of equality and equity below emphasizes the need for equity in order for equality to be in place in higher education and society at-large.

Further, this mandate from the state comes with funding to help put best practices for retention, completion, and transfer into place for our DI students. For the upcoming academic year, GCC anticipates that $1.7 million in funding will come from the state specifically dedicated to our Student Equity efforts.

So, how do we achieve Student Equity?

The following constituents contribute to a collective effort, including YOU: The Board of Trustees provide oversight and leadership while the Senate provides purview and leadership. The Student Equity Plan operates upon the data driven by the Research and Planning Office. The Student Equity Coordinator supervises the Student Equity Plan, chairs the Student Equity Committee, and assures the mandates of the Chancellor’s Office are carried out while working in tandem with governance committees and individual programs, such as the Academic Senate, Basic Skills, and Title V. Student Services provides operational support for Student Equity programs and services. Finally, faculty and staff, including the CORE Faculty Leaders below, provide professional development and employ structurally- and culturally-relevant best practices for our DI groups inside and outside the classroom in tandem with Student Services. As depicted by the conceptual model for student equity below, these practices assist our DI students to accrue social, academic, and cultural capital needed to persist, complete, and transfer[2] .

This year, our Student Equity Plan will go through another lengthy governance process (collegial consultation by Senate Exec, Academic Senate, Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, 3SP) that will once again be received by the Board of Trustees at their meeting on December 15, 2015. It will then be sent to the state Chancellor’s Office to demonstrate our strategies to reduce the performance gap for the DI students we identified.

These strategies can only be carried out with your participation and contributions as faculty and staff. With representatives on the Student Equity Committee formed by our Academic Senate this year, your ideas and proposals for implementing structurally- and culturally-relevant best practices to service our DI student groups are invited to be shared with the Faculty Leaders who will work with you according to your discipline, as listed below:

  • Theresa Lorch, Student Equity Coordinator
  • Beth Kronbeck, Co-Chair, Senate Representative
  • Barbara Flynn, Senate Representative
  • Greg Perkins, Senate Representative
  • Piper Rooney, Senate Representative
  • Hoover Zariani, Senate Representative
  • Eric Hanson, Administrative Representative
  • Carlos Arreola, Student Representative
  • Terrence Yu, Institutional Researcher
  • Teresa Davis, Summer Bridge/First Year Experience
  • JC Moore, Cultural Diversity Coordinator
  • FACULTY LEADERSat the CORE=Crucial, Organized, Realistic, Essential
  • Elizabeth Bryer (English Faculty Leader)
  • Yvette Hassakoursian (Math Faculty Leader)
  • Pat Hironymous (ESL Faculty Leader)
  • Mark Maier (Interdisciplinary Faculty Leader)

Additional student equity resources, include counselors overseeing learning communities targeting DI Student Groups:

  • Robert Williams (Black Scholars)
  • Oscar Flores y Carolina Yernazian-Banaag (La Comunidad)
  • Martha Cuevas (Guardian Scholars for foster youth)

To find more information about Student Equity, click on the Student Success and Equity button in the lower left hand side of our GCC homepage. You may view last year’s and this year’s presentations from Institute Day as well as the current Student Equity Plan.

In addition, the following YouTube video provides the “Whys” and “Hows” concerning Student Equity at GCC:  – it is about 45 minutes long, perfect for a relaxing evening with a bowl of popcorn. Finally, to create a presence of equity for students on campus via banners, t-shirts, pens, etc., the Student Equity Committee is entertaining slogan ideas, which can be submitted to:

Extended by Theresa Lorch, Ph.D., Student Equity Coordinator, from December, 2014 Chaparral article by Andrew Young, Academic Senate President



[1]Issue submitted by Hoover Zariani:

[2] Student Equity conceptual model: Structure refers to the campus environment, accruement of social capital and academic capital; Culture refers to cultural capital, values for high performance, course completion, transfer-readiness, and what it means to be a successful student. Lorch, T. M. (2014)


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