June 2020 Research Roundup

Stack of old books sitting on stairs.

Collaboratory’s Research Roundup is a quarterly digest that shares a recap of current scholarship, research, and thought leadership in the field of higher education as it relates to community engagement, partnership development, practice, assessment, and evaluation. 

The focus of this Research Roundup is in response to the recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and countless other people of color who have died at the hands of a systemically unjust system.  Coupled with the issues of police brutality and White supremacy are health, economic, and social inequities magnified by COVID-19 which have led to world-wide protests fueled by justified anger and hope.   In light of these recent events and the protests they have justifiably fueled, this installment of the Research Roundup shares some new publications that more closely examine the issues of race, power, and equity within higher education.  

As our institutions and communities work toward agendas promoting a more just and equitable society, we must continually interrogate the roots of racism and anti-Blackness in its various forms through all aspects of our research, teaching, assessment, and evaluation practices.

Hard Truths: Why Only Race-Conscious Policies Can Fix Racism in Higher Education

More than 150 years after the 13th amendment was ratified to end slavery, nearly 3 out of 4 Black adults and more than half of White adults describe race relations as “bad,” and that the legacy of slavery still has a considerable impact on Black people in American society. It is within this context that policies designed to address racial inequalities continue to face strong opposition. In this context, the authors provide arguments for why race-conscious policies that are designed to eliminate racism are necessary. They share data that explains why a focus on income alone may not close gaps in opportunity and outcomes for students of color, particularly Black students and families. Finally, they offer strategies on how leaders and policymakers can design and implement race-conscious policies in higher education.  Access the paper.


A New Decade for Assessment: Embedding Equity into Assessment Praxis

Entering into a new decade with an even more diversified college student population will not only require more assessment models involving students but also deeper professional development of institutional representatives key to student learning. Reflecting upon the conversations over the last three years around culturally responsive assessment and related equity and assessment discussions, this occasional paper highlights questions, insights, and future directions for the decade ahead by exploring what equitable assessment is and is not; the challenges and barriers to equitable assessment work; where the decade ahead may lead; and next steps in the conversation on equity and assessment. Access the paper.


Anti-Racism in Higher Education: A Model for Change

Racism continues to persist in higher education and traditional diversity initiatives that focus only on support resources and tolerance training continue to fall short in making lasting change on college and university campuses. The purpose of this scholarly paper is to present a model for change within higher education that distributes leadership and institutional power across racial lines and enlightens the White community about systemic inequities.  Access the article.


Leaders Who Ignore Race in Higher Education Perpetuate Racial Injustice

When it comes to higher education, unfortunately, higher education leaders and policymakers have long used unjust policies to exclude students of color from pursuing and earning college degrees. A new report from The Education Trust argues that racist policies must be overturned and that income-based policies alone are insufficient to achieve racial equity in U.S. higher education. Federal, state, and institutional leaders must enact race-conscious policies for college admissions and degree attainment, higher education funding, student debt relief, and campus climate.  Relying on historical analysis and analysis of trends in college opportunity and outcomes for Black students, this article answers a call from education equity advocates for tools to push policy makers to focus explicitly on race in higher education.  Access the article.

Indicators of Higher Education Equity in the United States: 2020 Historical Trend Report

This 2020 Indicators Report and the earlier reports compile historical statistical data from the nationally representative government statistics including the Census Bureau household studies and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)-sponsored high school and college longitudinal studies. These series track college entrance and completion by family income, socioeconomic status, and race/ethnicity.  Access the reportAccess summary findings.

Share your Resources!

The resources provided above don’t even begin to scratch the surface of the newest information out there to provide insights on equity within higher education. If we did not include a resource you think we should know about and share, contact us at [email protected]

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