Driving Towards a Degree is a research collaborative which helps institutions evolve their student supports.
In this year’s research, Tyton Partners designed a new methodology to measure progress towards equitable academic outcomes by race and ethnicity, represented by data on how the needs of Black, Latinx, Indigenous (BLI) groups, and students with financial needs differ from those of White students. The data from over 2,000 respondents reflects how the scaled implementation of certain advising practices and technologies plays a role in closing gaps in graduation rates by race and ethnicity.
This work has many implications for the advising ecosystem:
- First and foremost, we believe that institutions need to track their racial and ethnic graduation rate outcome gaps over time in a way that includes BLI students in the norm and then monitor this figure closely because, ultimately, you cannot change what you do not measure. We posit that institutional leadership needs to designate an accountable party to make closing the outcome gap (or in some cases, reversing the widening of outcome gaps) part of their institutional strategic plans.
- Technology solution providers can support the pursuit of equity in academic outcomes for BLI students by making data on student identities (and thereby needs) more easily accessible to support providers so they can more meaningfully engage students with services customized for their experiences.
- Finally, policymakers should pay attention to which institutions are closing academic outcome gaps for BLI students to find ways to scale their impact through funding or directing students of color to those institutions by publicizing their success.