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Educational Equity Hub

Students talking at an eventThe Office of Success Coaching believes it is important to identify and participate in reducing educational inequities for all students at CSU San Marcos. On this page you will find information shared about what it means to be equity-minded as a practitioner. Also, you can find additional information on how to become and operate as an equity-minded institute of higher education. From time-to-time, we will post informative research articles, emerging practices and unique resources being equity-minded in thought, policy, and practice. Fairness and equity are not necessarily a natural or autogenetic process. Often it is something that has been shaped within our institutional structures; especially as related to the student engagement process and overall student success.

As a High-Impact Practice (HIP), the Office of Success Coaching is focused on understanding, designing, and testing new models of action that impact student engagement in a specific and successful way. Our office supports efforts to grow the diversity of students who have access to CSU San Marcos and to assist with their respective developmental differences. Our aim is to add value and our sphere of influence includes servicing students in a more equitable manner; while assisting with shifting the campus community towards offering more inclusive support.

Our overall goal is to model a new intentional practice to facilitating student engagement, success, and educational excellence. As a unit within Enrollment Management Services, the Office of Success Coaching closely partners with the Office of Admissions & Registrar, Financial Aid, and Academic Advising for access to applicant/student data. Thereby, empowering our success coaches as knowledge workers and emerging human talent.

Why is Equity in Higher Education Important?

Equity is higher education has a broad definition depending on what is being referenced. The Office of Success Coaching uses both quantitative and qualitative analyses of the available data to become better informed on how to help students. Therefore, a clear understanding of what it means to be equitable is critical.

Equity Defined

Equity, diversity, inclusion, and excellence are all terms that are generally invoked as higher educational institutions begin to evaluate and assess their role in either participating in implementing fairness or learn how they can improve on their performance in these specific areas as they relate to student engagement and success. Equity, simply defined, means to be fair and impartial. In the specific framework of student engagement, student success, and educational outcomes, it means that students will receive improved support services; regardless of race and ethnicity. The Office of Success Coaching wants to move beyond issues of access, service, and assessment and focus in on becoming an outcome-driven office that lives within the framework of equity and educational excellence.

Transforming the Meaning of Equity in Student Success

Transformation requires intentional action. Purposeful educational practices require practitioners to critically assess and change their polices, practices, and often system structure so that they can begin the work of advancing student equity; while learning how to become equity-minded in thoughts and actions. Lensing from an equity-minded framework encourages the necessary change and transformation. There must however, be a shared agreement that fairness and impartiality has not always been a part of the higher educational experience for all students. Diverse students have been underserved with inadequate resources. This is the core of why equity is critical to overall student success for all stakeholders involved. Noticing and eliminating any educational inequities begins the process of change and transformation. To learn more about identifying and transforming educational inequities click on the links listed below.

Equity-Mindedness

The term “Equity-Mindedness” captures the practitioner’s or leadership’s ability to identify, acknowledge, and recognize unfair treatment service and move towards practicing in a fair manner. An “Equity-Minded” practitioner uncovers their own assumptions, can recognize and identify all stereotypes that inform policies, systems, and practice that hinder true student success. Equity-minded leaders and practitioners take personal and institutional responsibility for the success of their students. They self-reflect and critically examine and evaluate their own bias, the bias of the systemic practices in place, and the overall bias of the institutional structure that they lead for equity. They are conscious of the fact that implicit and explicit bias exist towards specific diverse groups based on the social and historical context of exclusionary practices within American higher education. Therefore, they act to continuously access business practices to create change. This cyclical process helps equity-minded leaders and practitioners become more purposeful, intentional, accountable, and responsible.

Equity Hub Resources: Learning Library

To better understand student experiences at CSU San Marcos the Office of Success Coaching is systematically examining academic, financial, social, and structural barriers that affect student success. In doing this, we can design evidence-driven policies and practices that focus on supporting students in more equitable and inclusive ways. Below are some links to resources that we have found to be useful in acting upon educational equity.