Disproportionate Impact: African American, LatinX, Native American
July 2019 - June 2020

Sponsor: Student Success Council

Project Background and Need (Why is the project necessary?)

ARC’s strategic plan includes the following statement on its commitment to social justice and equity: “American River College strives to uphold the dignity and humanity of every student and employee. We are committed to social justice and equity through equity-minded education, transformative leadership, and community engagement. We believe this commitment is essential to achieving our mission and enhancing our community.” Additionally, Strategic Goal #1 states, “Students First – The College engages and connects students early and often to people, programs, and services as an integrated educational experience. By providing personalized, proactive support, the College fosters relationships that ensure all students, particularly the historically underserved and marginalized, persist, learn, and succeed.” In support of these goals, the college is dedicated to eliminating the equity gap. The disproportionate impact project team is needed to gather information and recommendations for practice from our most disproportionately impacted student populations in order to equitize student success. 

Project Purpose and Scope (What is the project expected to encompass? What are the boundaries?)

The Disproportionate Impact Team is responsible for summarizing the historical exclusion of African American, Native American, and Latinx students in education. Additionally, this team will identify institutional barriers and motivators to providing equitable education for these student groups, and will create recommendations for instruction and student services practices based on a literature review, the Institutional Equity Plan, and the college’s efforts in Achieve and Pathways.

Note that the actual implementation of the DI project team recommendations will not reside with the project team. However, participants on the team may be engaged in implementation through their regularly assigned job duties.  

Project Objectives (What is the project expected to achieve?)

Successful completion of this project is intended to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Create a literature review which outlines high impact practices for African American, Latinx, and Native American students.
  2. Provide an appropriate methodological framework and recommendations to the college for serving African American, Latinx, and Native American students. These recommendations will be aligned with the college’s current work in Achieve and Pathways.

Project Deliverables (What items will be produced during the project?)

Deliverables to be completed and/or submitted for approval:

  1. Summarize the historical context of the education of African American, Latinx, and Native American students in the United States.
  2. Provide a literature review (including current scholarship and community college based praxis, including local quantitative and qualitative data and testimony) for the identified DI populations which outlines high impact practices that would best serve these student populations.
  3. Create a comprehensive list of institutional barriers (historical and current) that perpetuate systems of power and privilege that contribute to the equity gap and impact the experiences of African American, Latinx, and Native American students at ARC.
  4. Create a comprehensive list of motivators (Academic, Personal, Spiritual, Cultural, etc.) that inspire and produce positive outcomes for African American, Latinx, and Native American, as well as self-efficacy.
  5. Considering the college’s efforts in Achieve and Pathways and the literature review, identify an appropriate methodological framework for each identified group for high impact social justice practices, services, and teaching methods that would best serve the African American, Latinx, and Native American students at ARC.
  6. Identify recommended methods for practice based on the literature review and methodological framework that would provide equity minded praxis for African American, Latinx, and Native American students and eliminate the equity gap.
  7. Develop and recommend a communication plan for sharing the team’s report with the College community.

Success Indicators (How will success be measured or determined?)

The project will be considered successful when:

  1. Recommendations for best serving African American, Latinx, and Native American Students are available to the college by the end of Spring 2020.
  2. A comprehensive literature review and historical context of the education of African American, Latinx, and Native American students have been fully documented and understood by the college and included widely in professional development efforts. 2018-2019 Project Charter – Page 3
  3. College efforts for serving African American, Latinx, and Native American students are sustainable, affordable, manageable, intentional, focused, scaled, and aligned with college wide efforts.
  4. Deliverables are accepted by the Student Success Council and the Executive Leadership Team.

All of these indicators can be thoroughly accomplished through completion of the stated project objectives. 

Project Assumptions (What conditions are believed to exist?)

The project team was authorized based on the following assumptions:

  1. African American, Latinx, and Native American faculty, staff, community members, and students are available and willing to create recommendations for practice for their communities.
  2. The college will provide the resources needed to create professional development in support of the recommendations provided by this team.
  3. Existing efforts to serve these disproportionately impacted student populations need to be aligned with college wide efforts (e.g. Achieve and Pathways) and scalable for all students
  4. Implementation of the Institutional Equity Plan will serve as the guiding framework for the work of this team.
  5. The college is ready and willing to listen to and act upon the recommendations from the identified DI groups (African American, Latinx, and Native American).
  6. The DI project team will meet as a team on a regular basis; additionally, project members of each DI group (African American, LatinX, and Native American/American Indian) will meet as an individual group to develop the deliverables for their group). Each DI group will report back at the project team meetings and share their findings under the support and direction of the chair and co-chairs.

Project Risks, Constraints, or Dependencies (What factors might impact the project? How might the project intersect with the internal or external environment including other projects?)

The project team should be aware of the following known risks, constraints, and/or dependencies:

  1. Some of the proposed work touches on district processes and systems (e.g., curriculum, websites, pathways). Decisions made at the district level could affect the team’s ability to produce the deliverables according to the proposed timeline.
  2. Faculty and staff have expressed concerns that there are students from other disproportionately impacted populations that also need to be considered. A DI project team (or similar) will be created for the 2020-2021 academic year to address additional needs for other DI students (e.g. API, LGBTQ, Foster Youth). African American, Latinx, and Native American student populations were selected because they historically have the highest levels of DI in the ARC data and no previous targeted, college wide, scalable efforts have been directed at meeting the needs of those DI populations.
  3. In forming the charter, the Student Success Council has sought to recommend a team makeup that represents multiple interests and perspectives. However, we recognize that these three populations are not monolithic, and that no one person can represent the experiences of everyone in their group. 2018-2019 Project Charter – Page 4
  4. The work of the DI project team will be closely aligned with the work of the Professional Development Project Team, and timelines and communication between these groups is imperative for alignment and effectiveness. A strategy for aligning these two groups should be developed and agreed upon before the team begins its work.
  5. There is a risk that members of the college community who read the report will not be ready or willing to accept the recommendations, and that existing systems of power and privilege could pose a barrier to the recommendations being heard. However, this work is needed and it is a risk worth taking.

Other Considerations (What are the anticipated implications related to equity and inclusion; research and data; district policies and regulations; district and/or college-wide practices; college-wide cross-functional relationships; and resource needs such as staffing, workload, technology, and space/facilities?)

  1. Ongoing support from the Research Office will be needed to evaluate the effectiveness of the college’s efforts at closing the equity gap. 

Project Timeline/Key Milestones

Standard Description of Project Stages

Project Stages Description
Initiation Activities leading to the authorization and chartering of a project team
Preparation Activities which occur once a team is authorized and can be conducted independently to plan, schedule, and setup the project (project management steps)
Team-Based Work Activities which occur in a collaborative environment in which the project team works based on the scope of the charter
Formal Review Activities by which deliverables are submitted to the sponsoring council for formal approval; may involve a sequence of governance review including ELT and/or other entities; formal review may result in acceptance of the deliverables; request for the project team to revisit the design/refinement stages; or abandonment of the project
Closure Activities to celebrate the success of the project and archive the artifacts of the work completed

Planned Governance Flow of Deliverables

Project Stakeholders (Who has a vested interest in the project? Who will it impact?)

Communication Plan (How will information be shared with the stakeholders?)

Based on the previously stated stakeholder list, the general plan for sharing project information is as follows:

Conflict Resolution

Any matter of significance which cannot be resolved by the project leads may be referred to the appropriate administrator (typically the chair of the sponsoring council) or to the President's Executive Staff (PES). Any significant change in charter scope will require approval of a revised charter by the Executive Leadership Team (ELT).

Project Membership

Project Organization, Roles, and Responsibilities

Role Responsibilities
Project Leads
  • Prepares, leads, and follows up on meetings (see details of the Role of the Chair in the ARC Governance Framework)
  • Communicates the project to various stakeholders, and when appropriate, solicits feedback on dradt deliverables through informal review processes
  • Submits the final deliverables to the sponsoring council for approval
Project Steward
(may be one of the leads or a separate individual)
  • Manages the project on behalf of the sponsoring council
  • Drafts the charter in consultation with the sponsoring council's chairs
  • Conducts preliminary research to gather information on promising practices, product options, or other relevant materials to inform the project
  • Develops a work plan based on the charter to organize, sequence, and schedule the work of the project team within the available time frame
  • Reports progress to the sponsoring council
  • Maintains and archives project documentation at the conclusion of the project
  • Assists the project leads as needed
Team Members
  • Participates in all project meetings and activities
  • Supplies valuable knowledge and perspective (often based on the individual's responsibilities or role at ARC)
  • May be assigned specific project tasks to complete outside of project meetings
  • Assists with the "heavy lifting" that is required to accomplish the project deliverables
External Consultant
  • Provides expertise and assistance from an external (non-ARC) perspective
Executive Sponsor
Large, high-impact projects only:
  • Champions the project from the executive level to secure buy-in and ensure viability
  • Communicates project purpose and vision
  • Allocates appropriate resources to support effective development, execution, and institutionalization
  • Maintains awareness of project status and helps mitigate risk
  • Mediates conflicts and facilitates dialogue to resolve project issues
  • Assumes other responsibilities as appropriate based on the project scope

Student Participation

The student voice contributes a diverse perspective to ARC project teams and is highly valued. As project teams have widely varied meeting schedules which can require a substantial time commitment, a flexible set of options have been defined to ensure that project dialogue and deliverables are influenced by the student perspective.
Please check one or more boxes below that indicate the methods the project lead/co-lead intend to use to facilitate student participation during this project.
Method Description Compensated?
ASB Appointment Associated Student Body (ASB) appoints two students to serve on the project team and attend all meetings. This option is considered the standard method of representation. Yes
Student Resource Panel In consultation with ASB, create a student resource panel that is called upon by the project lead/co-lead to provide student input at key points during the project. The resource panel may be an existing group of students (e.g., Sages) or a temporarily formed group assigned to the project. Yes
ASB Direct Involvement Lead/co-leads work directly with ASB to be placed on an ASB agenda, present the project concept, and solicit input from students during a regularly scheduled ASB meeting. No
Student Survey or Focus Group Project conducts a student survey or focus group through the Institutional Research Office and uses the results to inform the work of the project team. No, but incentives may be provided on a case-by-case basis.
Student Forum or Gallery Walk Project holds a student forum or gallery walk during which large groups of students can provide input in response to narrative or visual prompts. ASB would be asked to assist in publicizing the date/time of the event to the student constituency. No
Other (please specify intended methods) TBD – methods for collecting input from the college as a whole (including students) are yet to be determined