Goal Statement:

We will increase equity in student success by identifying and removing barriers to equity in access, engagement, well-being, persistence, timely degree completion, and post-graduate success for historically underrepresented and marginalized students.

OUTCOME 1: Establish the infrastructure, including resources, incentives, strategies, and accountabilities, to advance equity in student success for historically underrepresented and marginalized student populations.

Initiative 1: Increase the number of grants and other external funding applications focused on student success by 5% (MA plan ; PASSHE DEI SMART initiative 1, priority 2; UN 4,5).

Year 1: Identify, advance proposal training, and increase support for high-impact grant and funding opportunities that support equity in student success.

Initiative 2: Increase strategies to motivate institutional personnel to actively promote data-driven progress towards achieving equity in student success goals (MA plan ; PASSHE DEI SMART initiative 1, priority 2; Boyer Report provocation 11; UN 4, 5).

Year 1: In collaboration with the faculty shared governance group, Unions that represent WCU faculty and staff, Moon Shot for Equity, and university leadership, create a university-wide statement that explicitly states how student success, well-being, and equity work at WCU can be documented and evaluated in support of faculty requirements concerning fulfillment of teaching and professional responsibilities, continuing scholarly growth, and service, as well as staff success as it pertains to professional responsibilities, growth, and services.

OUTCOME 2: In conjunction with the Moon Shot for Equity goal teams, transform institutional cultures to be equity-minded through the implementation of basic needs infrastructure, well-being programming, intentional and inclusive space for the cultivation of community and leadership, professional development opportunities, and mentoring/advising training.

Initiative 1: Ensure that there is a coordinated basic needs infrastructure that all faculty, staff, and administrators can use to participate in every student’s community of care (MA plan ).

Year 1: Using historical data, bench-mark current equity gaps in utilization rates of existing campus resources supporting students’ basic needs. Develop a strategic plan to close equity gaps in utilization rates by 5% over bench-marked rate in year 2 to include (but not limited to) providing additional training/support for faculty and staff regarding best practices for the integration of equity-minded best practices for integrating basic needs support into advising, teaching, and student services.

Initiative 2: Improve the well-being, mental health, and physical and psychological safety of students, faculty, and staff by ensuring that university practices and support services (including but not limited to counseling services and campus policing practices) are informed by an understanding of racial trauma and social justice concepts and are responsive to students’ current patterns of engagement (MA plan ).

Year 1: Conduct needs assessment to understand the changing needs of students, faculty and staff regarding mental health, physical and psychological safety. Create an infrastructure to make these data accessible to the campus community.

OUTCOME 3: Increase equity in access to higher education by closing equity gaps in retention rates to WCU for historically underrepresented and marginalized students by 5% by year 2.

Initiative 1: Identify and eliminate barriers to equity in student success in university policies and practices around the implementation of registration holds.

Year 1: In collaboration with the faculty shared governance group, WCU-APSCUF, Moon Shot for Equity, and the Office of the Provost, examine best practices in alternatives to registration holds (including NEN advisor holds) that eliminates barriers to equity in student success while also scaffolding students’ degree progression and persistence.

Initiative 2: Identify and eliminate financial barriers to equity in student success by implementing retention grants to increase student persistence.

Year 1: In conjunction with Moon Shot for Equity, develop a university-wide strategy for the implementation of tuition and non-tuition retention grants that close equity gaps in student retention. Centralize retention grant funding, create a strategic communication plan for increasing access and transparency around retention grants, and includes a plan for ongoing monitoring and reporting of our use of retention grants in a tool to close equity gaps in retention rates for undergraduate and graduate students.

Initiative 3: Eliminate all developmental courses at WCU by replacing all existing non-credit bearing developmental courses with co-requisite (credit-bearing, college-level) alternative courses.

Year 1: In conjunction with Moon Shot for Equity, develop a university-wide strategic plan for the elimination of remaining WCU developmental courses. The plan should include a timeline for phased implementation that minimizes the disruption to existing programs offering developmental courses – or requiring coursework that relies heavily on developmental courses.

OUTCOME 4: Equip all students with the tools and resources to thrive beyond their time at West Chester University.

Initiative 1: In partnership with employers who hire WCU students, champion the creation and implementation of diverse, equitable, and inclusive recruiting strategies that remove barriers for graduates entering the workforce (MA plan ; UN 8, 16).

Year 1: Host at least four student and recent graduate focus groups to understand their experiences in the recruiting process and develop a plan for addressing barriers in partnership with employers. 

Initiative 2: Using a data-informed approach, expand the integration of career readiness education in the classroom, providing more equitable access to knowledge, opportunities, and social capital necessary for students to achieve their professional goals (UN 4, 5, 8, 10).

Year 1: Through partnership between the Career Development Center and academic departments, pilot career readiness education integration into the classroom experience by developing content and easily accessible experiential opportunities. Increase the number of faculty partnering with the Career Development Center to deliver equitable career readiness education through the classroom.

Workgroup Members: Zeinab Baba, Lisa Marano, Jen Rossi Long (tri-chairs); Ashlie Delshad, Vanessa Kahen, Cherie Fishbaugh, Dana Pratt, Erica Matt, B.K. Taylor, Juanita Wooten, Matheeha Majeeth, Alex Cohen, Matthew Kruger-Ross