Classroom Equity Action Plan

Classroom Equity Action Plan

The 2018-2023 Strategic Plan of the University explicitly adopts as one of the institutional values, Diversity Equity, and Inclusiveness: “We are committed to the success and well-being of every individual in our community regardless of group identity.”

The classroom Equity Action Plan was born out of a collaborative effort across different offices on campus and will be supported and maintained by representatives from the Office of the Provost, the Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI), the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), Instructional Design, Engagement and Support (IDEAS), the Office of Academic Planning and Assessment (OAPA), University Analytics an Institutional Research (UAIR).

Attend an upcoming Classroom Equity Action Plan Faculty Forum:

Tuesday, February 27, 2024
1:00-2:30 p.m.
Old Chapel, Great Hall 2nd Floor

Click Here to RSVP
 

Thursday, April 11, 2024
3:00-4:30 p.m.
Old Chapel, 1st Floor

Click Here to RSVP
 


Rationale for the Classroom Equity Action Plan:

During the Fall semester of 2021, our campus launched our latest Campus Climate Survey. In announcing this survey, we acknowledged not only our ongoing commitment to understanding perceptions of, but also to making measurable progress on equity and inclusion on our campus. It has become clear that the collaborative engagement of all members of our campus community – faculty, staff, and students – in translating this commitment into action is the only path to living up to our values.  

In the Fall of 2022, the Campus Climate Survey report and interactive dashboards were released, along with Campus Climate Survey Engagement Guides, which include resources and toolkits on different themes. The campus was invited to engage with these resources as the foundation for developing Equity Action Plans in each of the vice chancellories. For Academic Affairs, the timeline for developing these plans was announced at the Academic Affairs retreat in September 2022, and a full-day retreat for department heads/chairs, deans and other academic leaders was held at the beginning of February 2023 to launch this process.  

The Academic Affairs Equity Action Plans are focused on improving equity in students’ classroom belonging and connectedness, which correlate strongly with traditional measures of student success (e.g. the PASS Project).This focus results directly from feedback from our own students, especially those from groups historically marginalized in higher education, on their experiences at the department level through the Campus Climate Survey and annual senior surveys. To begin to address these inequities, we developed a priority list of equity actions focused on classroom belonging and asked departments to assess their use throughout the courses required for their majors. We then asked departments to choose at least one equity action to advance belonging and connectedness and submit a plan for implementation, starting in the fall semester of 2023.  Ideally, these actions will be targeted to the point in the curriculum and pedagogy where they may have the most impact on inequities in student retention and completion rates based on feedback from the Campus Climate and student success data from Flagship Analytics. 

We have collaborated with the CTL and the IDEAS Team  to curate and design resources to assist each faculty member, department and college, engaged in implementing these Classroom Equity Action Plans. We also stand ready as a team, along with collaborators from the Office of Equity and Inclusion, to assist whenever we are called upon. 

The Equity Action Plans represent an opportunity for faculty to reflect on our current pedagogy and to exercise our academic freedom to make improvements that promote the success of ALL our students. The overarching goal of the Equity Action Plans is to improve equity in student belonging and connectedness in the classroom and ultimately success. These plans are expected to build upon the intentions and aspirations articulated in your strategic plan, AQAD, and EEP by formalizing a specific path to achieving them that is guided by evidence. 

We believe that the priority actions presented are responsive to student feedback on their experiences through the campus climate survey and focus groups. The current state of each department/school/college with respect to these priority actions will fall on a continuum in relation to the cycle of continuous improvement [FIGURE 1]. In developing this plan, engage with your identified priority action at the point in the cycle that best matches your current state. 

Continuous Improvement Process

Figure 1: Cycle of continuous improvement cycle to be used by departments, schools, and colleges to determine priorities for their equity action plan.

An interactive TEAMS channel has been created to provide you with the resources necessary to plan and execute these equity actions as well as to provide you with a community of practice and collaboration. 

Whom do I contact with questions about the Classroom Equity Action Plan?

For General Inquiries about the Classroom Equity Action Plan

For general inquiries about the Classroom Equity Action Plan, the rationale for the implementation, evaluation, its overall academic impact, and to be added to the TEAMS channel, please contact the Office of the Provost, through email at eap-provost@umass.edu.

For Specific Information about the Climate Survey Data

For specific information about the climate survey data and belonging at UMass, please contact OEI at diversityadmin@umass.edu.

For Information on Syllabus Design and Ideas

For information on syllabus design and ideas for implementing specific action plans, please contact the CTL Team at  ctl@umass.edu.

For Information on Assessment, Submissions, and Analysis

For information on assessment, equity action plan submissions, and survey analysis, please contact OAPA at oapa@umass.edu.

For Consultation or Assistance with Evaluation and Selection

For assistance with the evaluation and selection of optimal technologies, and consultation on ways to integrate them into departmental workflows, and provide appropriate training resources. Please contact instruct@umass.edu  to schedule a consult with an instructional designer on the IDEAS team.