By Cynthia Ainsworth, Hartnell College
Like all CA community colleges, faculty at Hartnell College have been exploring ways to embed equity in their pedagogical practices. In 2019, with the OEI Course Design Rubric (https://onlinenetworkofeducators.org/wp-
content/uploads/2021/05/CVC_OEI_Course_Design_Rubric_rev_April_2020_ACC_52021.pdf) and the Peralta Online Equity Rubric (https://www.peralta.edu/distance-education/online-equity-rubric) in hand, the Student Success and Equity Committee began developing its own rubric for both online and f2f classroom instruction. It was not a quick process...it took us two full semesters just to agree upon a definition of equity!! By that point we were in the midst of the pandemic and found continued inspiration for our rubric in the work of Dr. Luke Wood and Dr. Frank Harris III with CORA. Their webinar Employing Equity-Minded & Culturally Affirming Teaching Practices in Virtual Learning Communities (https://youtu.be/aMrf_MC5COk) was the catalyst for our own work and out of this inspiration came the Equity Rubric for Student Succes
(https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pG20GvGypQXnhQCVgySBogpYfmx2IdGDp6AbX-PdnoQ/edit)s. The support from faculty has been positive as instructors have implemented the dimensions outlined by Drs. Wood and Harris.
Soon another idea began to percolate: how can we practice these same equitable dimensions
in our service areas outside the classroom? As the Student Services Librarian at Hartnell,
this had particular meaning to me. So our focus expanded and we created the Equity-Minded
Rubric for Service Areas (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pG20GvGypQXnhQCVgySBogpYfmx2IdGDp6AbX-PdnoQ/edit). Again, turning to the work of Dr. Wood and Dr. Harris, we found inspiration from
their webinar Equity Minded Student Services in the Online Environment (https://youtu.be/qGoldJP4Xl8) (April 2020). While this webinar was developed
for online services, we felt these attitudes or dimensions seamlessly supported f2f services as well.
As a companion to the classroom rubric, the student services rubric begins with the same equity definition. From there, the seven dimensions of equitable student services, developed by Drs. Wood and Harris are defined:
For each dimension, the rubric identifies a “what” and a “why” this equity practice
is of value. A fuller description of the dimension is listed giving examples of how
the practice can be made visible. Service areas are then given an opportunity to identify
how they currently align with the dimension and then space to identify how they could
implement practices for their area. (While there are many universalities for classroom
faculty (syllabus, grading and attendance policies, exams/papers) there seemed to
be a wide range of ways each area (ie Tutorial Services,
Financial Aid or the Library) could implement these practices. Freedom was given for each area to develop how they best could demonstrate the dimensions.
1. Be Intrusive
2. Be Responsive
3. Be Race Conscious
4. Be Informed
5. Be Community Focused
6. Be Clear and Validating
7. Be Flexible and Compassionate
For each dimension, the rubric identifies a “what” and a “why” this equity practice is of value. A fuller description of the dimension is listed giving examples of how the practice can be made visible. Service areas are then given an opportunity to identify how they currently align with the dimension and then space to identify how they could implement practices for their area. (While there are many universalities for classroom faculty (syllabus, grading and attendance policies, exams/papers) there seemed to be a wide range of ways each area (ie Tutorial Services, Financial Aid or the Library) could implement these practices. Freedom was given for each area to develop how they best could demonstrate the dimensions.
Our excitement grew as the rubric continued to develop and we invited the Outcomes
& Assessment committee chairs to one of our meetings. We asked if perhaps this rubric
could be used to help service areas with their SAO (Service Area Outcomes)? The O&A
committee saw the rubric as a way to energize the entire assessment process for those
non-instructional areas (like the library) as they developed more meaningful outcomes
and fresh ways of assessing. And so this spring, all service areas who complete the
planning and assessment cycle will choose two of the dimensions to embed in their
activities and outcomes for the following academic year.
What will this look like for the library? We have just begun to explore how this might look. These are the questions we are asking ourselves:
- Be Intrusive: Are we approaching students as they navigate through the library or waiting for them to come to a desk before we offer help? Do we introduce ourselves to students, welcoming them so that they know they belong in the space? Do we anticipate their needs before they ask?
- Be Responsive: Do we have resources prepared in advance? Have we made these resources easy to find (online and in the library)? Have we let students know it's ok to seek help?
- Be Race Conscious: Do our displays reflect the diversity of the student body? Do students of color see themselves represented when they navigate the library? Do our collections include many voices and experiences outside of the Eurocentric canon? Have staff been given training and opportunities to practice self-reflection and uncover hidden biases?
- Be Informed: What data are we using to make decisions? Are we asking students who don’t use the library about their perceptions? Are we conscious of students’ lived experiences as we collect data? Are we only asking questions of traditional students or have we expanded non-traditional ways to assess our outcomes?
- Be Community Focused: Are our spaces welcoming and inviting? Can our students see themselves reflected in the spaces? Have we asked students how they want to interact with our spaces, collections, or services? Have we included spaces for both in-person and online communities? Have we invited learning communities (Umoja/Puente) to use our space?
- Be Clear and Validating: Are our policies and guidelines clear and affirming written in non-punitive language? Do we share with other services areas on campus in an effort to build consistency in communication across campus? Do we use language that let’s students know they can succeed?
- Be Flexible and Compassionate: Do our policies around fines and fees support student success? Do we provide services outside of our open hours? Do our resources allow for students with family and work demands to find what they need outside of traditional methods?
Answering these questions will compel us to shine a light on our current practices and be open to the self reflection required to make changes. We believe this will truly make our school a more equitable place.
February 2023 (/outlook/february-2023)
Letter from the President (/outlook/february-2023/letter-president)
Consortium Director’s Report (/outlook/february-2023/consortium-directors-report)
New DEI Databases Comparison Review (/outlook/february-2023/new-dei-databases-comparison-review)
Equity-minded Rubric for Service Areas: A Tool for a More Equitable Library (/outlook/february-2023/equity-
Santa Rosa Junior College Welcomes New Electronic Resources Librarian! (/outlook/february-2023/santa-rosa-ju-