Committing to Equity and Inclusive Excellence: Campus-Based Strategies for Student Success

Committing to Equity and Inclusive Excellence: Campus-Based Strategies for Student Success is a three-year project launched with support from Strada Education Network and Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates. Building on AAC&U's Centennial focus on equity and inclusive excellence, the project is designed to expand the current research on equity in student achievement and to identify promising evidence-based interventions for improving student learning and success.

The 13 institutions selected to participate in the project include:

  • Anne Arundel Community College (MD)
  • California State University – Northridge (CA)
  • California State University – Sacramento (CA)
  • Carthage College (WI)*
  • Clark Atlanta University (GA)
  • Dominican University (IL)
  • Florida International University (FL)
  • Governors State University (IL)
  • Lansing Community College (MI)
  • Morgan State University (MD)
  • North Carolina A&T State University (NC)
  • Pomona College (CA)
  • Wilbur Wright College (IL)

The 3 honorable mention institutions:

  • Indiana University Northwest (IN)
  • Northern Illinois University (IL)
  • Western Michigan University (MI)

Project Activities and Achievements

During the duration of the three-year project, the thirteen campuses used findings from AAC&U's 2015 Centennial member survey to identify and understand common issues, themes, and interventions related to addressing equity in student learning and success. They also completed AAC&U's Committing to Equity and Inclusive Excellence: A Campus Guide for Self-Study and Planning and collected student success and learning data through a campus inventory to raise awareness of institutional inequities and areas for improvement. Campus teams participated in a two-day Equity Academy, designed in collaboration with the Center for Urban Education at the University of Southern California, and developed action plans to guide the implementation of targeted interventions to equitably advance student learning and success. A special issue of AAC&U’s Peer Review: Committing to Equity and Inclusive Excellence was published Spring 2017 to detail campus progress.

Published in March 2018, A Vision for Equity is a national report that details findings from the thirteen campuses that participated in the Committing to Equity and Inclusive Excellence project. In the chapters, each campus outlines how they sought to build internal capacity to address inequities in student outcomes and narrow equity gaps through the following objectives:

  • increased access to and participation in high-impact practices (HIPs)
  • increased completion, retention, and graduation rates for low-income students, first-generation students, adult learners, and minoritized students
  • increased achievement of learning outcomes for underserved students using direct assessment measures, including AAC&U’s Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education (VALUE) rubrics
  • increased student awareness and understanding of the value of guided learning pathways that incorporate HIPs for workforce preparation and engaged citizenship

A culminating project meeting was held as part of AAC&U’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Democracy: The Inconvenient Truths conference in San Diego, CA on March 22–24, 2018.

In April 2018, AAC&U hosted a national webinar, “A Vision for Equity” that featured presentations from four campus teams on evidence-based interventions focused on improving student success that included practical examples, models, and resources for identifying and addressing disparities in student outcomes. This webinar is designed for all educators, faculty members, and administrators interested in learning more about campus-based strategies for committing to equity and inclusive excellence. To view the webinar recording, click here.

AAC&U Project Staff 

Tia Brown McNair, Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Student Success

Vida Rivera, Program Coordinator for Diversity, Equity, and Student Success 

* Carthage College is supported by Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates.