Where Are We Now?
Equity vs. Equality
In the past decade, equity has been infused into the dialog of higher education. According to the Center for Urban Education (CUE), equity refers to achieving parity in student educational outcomes, regardless of race and ethnicity. Further, equity moves beyond issues of access to higher education and centers instead success outcomes for students of color. (Student success outcomes may be measured by completing a course with a passing grade, completing a degree or certificate, transferring to a 4-year university).
Many institutions of higher education, including faculty members, have strived for equity-mindedness: the perspective or mode of thinking exhibited by practitioners who call attention to patterns of inequity in student outcomes (CUE). Rather than place the blame of unequal student outcomes on the shoulders of students, equity-minded practitioners instead take personal and institutional responsibility for the success of their students and strive to critically reassess their own practices. To become equity-minded requires that practitioners are race-conscious and aware of the socio-historical context of exclusionary practices within United States higher education (CUE). In finality, in order to achieve equity, or equality of outcomes, students must be provided additional resources and support to counter the inequality they have experienced in their previous schooling, socialization, and life experiences.