The Equity Mentoring Program was developed in the Math Department as a result of the Equity in Excellence Project, which brought the Equity Scorecard from USC’s Center for Urban Education (CUE) to Community College of Aurora (CCA). The scorecard uses inquiry as a strategy to identify and change the practices and beliefs of institutions that lead to inequitable outcomes for students in terms of race/ethnicity. They took the Equity Scorecard a step further by applying it to individual faculty. In addition to course success rates being disaggregated by race/ethnicity, individual faculty members have their success rates disaggregated to identify inequitable outcomes and set goals for improvement. The Concurrent Enrollment Program provides college credit for high school students in their own school, a program resulting from state legislation in 2010. Since then, the Math Dept. has gone from 22 enrollments in two high schools to more than 1,100 enrollments in eleven, many of whom have a high proportion of Hispanic students.
The goal of the Equity Mentoring Program is to work with individual faculty to transform the department and the practices used by faculty. By using the Equity Scorecard, they found faculty whose classes performed well and used them to help others learn from their practices. The goal of the Concurrent Enrollment Program is to get students into the kinds of math classes that will lead to high-demand and high-paying careers in STEM fields. An example of their strategy is to get students into College Algebra by modifying a high school Algebra II course, which already covers 75% of the content. Completing this course and Trigonometry successfully allows students to enter the calculus sequence, a gateway to STEM fields.
During the Equity Scorecard, faculty success rates were so consistently low that removing a single individual from the data could result in a 4% increase in overall success rates. This called into question why students bear the brunt of labels such as “at-risk” as opposed to faculty.
· Of the 11 faculty with below average success rates, eight experienced overall increases.
· A Calculus teacher, with a history of low performing Hispanic students, went from an overall success rate of 58% over a 7-year period to a success rate of 77% (+19%); his increase in Hispanic success went from 58% to 81% (+23%).
· The two lowest levels of developmental math were redesigned so students could take a college level math course after one semester, leading to an increase from 24% to 45% of reaching college level. White students experienced an increase of 40% while Hispanic students only experienced an increase of 14%. To gain better results, an additional two hours per week with their instructor in a support lab was added. The results were immediate with Hispanic students experiencing a much more comparable increase of 33% this fall.
· The Concurrent Enrollment Program, over the last three years, saw an increase in Hispanic students among those enrolled in math while in high school; 28% of College Algebra and 39% of Calculus students. Moreover, these students are passing at a very high rate.
· 24% of on-campus College Algebra students are Hispanic (vs. 14% in ‘08-’09) as are 24% of Calculus I (vs. 6%) students.
· 500 Hispanic students have taken College Algebra with an 86% passing rate. These students are now enrolling at CCA.