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Inaugural equity report provides roadmap to educational equity

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DENVER – Dec. 16, 2020: The Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) and Colorado Equity Champions Coalition (ECC) today published Report on Educational Equity: Creating a Colorado for All, the state’s first equity report for higher education. The report supports Colorado’s goal to reach 66% educational attainment by 2025 through the implementation of strategies aimed at erasing equity gaps.
"With our report, we attempt to better understand the issues our students face and the historic issues that have created our current educational equity gaps," said David Olguin, public affairs and ethnic studies scholar and student advisor to Colorado Commission on Higher Education, co-chair & student liaison to the Equity Champions Coalition. "The report outlines recommendations for a brighter future by building on our accomplishments and redirecting efforts to make the necessary change to better support students."
The report sets a broad vision for the department, campuses, legislators, and other community members to drive improvements in success and completion for students of color in Colorado. It also provides a historic look at educational inequities showing racial, gender, and socio-economic gaps in college-going rates, college completion and workforce earnings. Likewise, it offers recommendations to create a framework, informed by data, to identify elements and actions that collectively create an equitable education system. Finally, the report provides strategies and a plan for work to continue.
"This report is important because for the first time we are looking across our past reports with the specific intention of identifying inequities, learning from them, and then making recommendations to improve," said Shelley Banker, senior director to the Office of Educational Equity at CDHE. "Creating a Colorado for All means that we acknowledge that our state must have an intentional and specific focus on race and ethnicity to erase educational equity gaps. This is a historic time in American history, one in which the choices we make set the stage for Colorado in the coming years, and how far we go in the fight for equality. Success allows us to build coalitions and collaborative networks on campuses to better support students of color and eliminate gaps in who enrolls, persists, and completes higher education."
Next spring, the equity coalition and CDHE will host the first annual Day of Dialogue where leaders will sign on and commit to working to create a more equitable Colorado.
"We know that leadership continues to be an essential pillar of Colorado's equity work," said Dr. Ryan Ross, associate vice chancellor for student affairs equity and inclusion for Colorado Community College System and co-chair to the Equity Champions Coalition. "Presidents, department staff, and commissioners must provide continued enthusiasm and stress the importance of equity. Our North star is clear, having the vision written into CDHE's Master Plan ensures this goal is carried through changes in gubernatorial administrations and executive directors."
More information on the report can be found here:
The Equity Champions Coalition (ECC) advances statewide policy and informs higher education support and services for Colorado's most vulnerable students to remove educational completion gaps in the state by race, ethnicity, and income. The Coalition serves as advisors to CDHE by developing a collective vision and strategic direction to guide the Office of Educational Equity. The ECC works alongside CDHE to guide the implementation of high-impact strategies across institutions, collaborate on best practices, collect and analyze data, and identify necessary work to continue to close gaps.
The Office of Educational Equity at the Department of Higher Education establishes statewide policy, acts as a facilitator of best practices and technical assistance providers to remove equity gaps in the state. The office is committed to promoting the public value of higher education and encouraging the general public to direct funding in a way that mirrors the diversity in our state and erases racial/ethnic/income equity gaps in Colorado.