PNAIRP 2010 "Institutional Research as a Social Science"
2011 Strategy Institute The Role of Institutional Research in Equitable Access and Success: Data, Power and Privilege Tonya Benton (Facilitator), IR Director Highline Community College, Des Moines, WA Cathy Almquist, Director of IR and Assessment Trident Technical College, Charleston, SC Mary Millikin, Director of Planning and IR Tulsa Community College, Tulsa, OK Wilma Dulin, VP, Instruction & Student Svcs Yakima Valley Community College, Yakima, WA Presentation Format Academic Context/ Brief Dialogue Data stories from panelists Audience Discussion of Stories/
Questions Summary remarks from panelists 2/9/2011 Learning Objectives Identify colleagues for continued networking toward improved structural equity Identify biases due to IR privilege in data collection, analysis and reporting Discuss how individual biases can impact IRs role in a colleges progress toward structural equity 2/9/2011 Power, Privilege and Data
Sociology 101 Social constructions vs. natural constructions Power: unearned dominance Privilege: unearned benefit Dominant Culture Privileged member of society 2/9/2011 Proposed Process: How Privilege becomes Bias Visible dominance Bias in
information processing Differential treatment Individual Worldview 2/9/2011 One white IR directors story Transfer (18-24 yrs) 2008-2009 District African/Black Asian/PacIslander
Hispanic/Latino White Prof-Tech (18-24 yrs) African/Black Asian/PacIslander Hispanic/Latino White HCC 10% 12% 13% 24% 10% 2% 59% 53%
2008-2009 District HCC 10% 13% 10% 59% 12% 20% 2% 55% 2007-2008 District HCC
2% 56% 2006-2007 District HCC 9% 11% 14% 22% 10% 3% 60% 56% 2006-2007 District HCC
9% 14% 10% 60% 11% 19% 3% 61% 2/9/2011 further study is needed Does reporting these data perpetuate inequities? What responsibility do I have in IR to effect change on these issues?
How have other CCs in new Latino destinations measured access? What defines a new Latino destination? WHO is doing the defining? Does it matter? 2/9/2011 FOR LOVE OF NUMBERS A Cautionary Tale About Bias Attitude Counts IR people are, by nature, number
lovers. Numerophiles. Attitude Counts Some folks at our colleges are not number lovers. Numerophobes. Attitude Counts
What attitudes and biases do numerophiles have about numerophobes? Their capability? Their competency? Does that affect the way you look at results from their programs? Isnt that bias? Example Minority Mentoring MOMAH
SMentor ingOur Minority African America n and Hispanic Males
2007 - TTC had no significant difference in retention rates of white students and minority students. (Really.) Retention Committee investigating best practices on campus. MOMAHS reported a 90% annual retention rate. But they only had 19 participants. And no graduates. How did they get a 90% retention rate?!? Raw Data What IR Would Do Starting Fall Cohort Following Fall
19 9 9/19 = 47.4% Raw Data What the Program Did Starting Fall Cohort Following Fall 19 9 = 10 9
9/10 = 90% Attitude Counts What attitude did I (a numerophile) have have of the numerophobes? It did affect the way I looked at results from their program.
I was dismissive. That IS bias! Attitude Counts Initial Reaction: They really dont have a clue what theyre doing. Realization: Yes, they made a mistake. But the result of that mistake is masking a real problem. Time to take action: Look deeper at retention rates of minority males.
Are they equivalent to minority females? Is there a problem here we havent uncovered yet? Whats my role here? Moving Forward
The retention rate of minority males is not equivalent to other groups. We do have a problem. My role: help the people who directly support students understand and interpret data. Lessons in Unbiased Qualitative Data Collection Mary A. Millikin Director of Planning & Institutional Research Tulsa Community College
Qualitative Data Collection: Focus Groups TCC trained in structured focus group facilitation by data coach, Dr. Ken Gonzalez Focus group facilitators volunteered rather than were appointed Year 1 of ATD: Persistence focus groups All facilitators white females
Student participants representative of student body Qualitative Data Collection: Focus Groups In Year 3, TCC conducted persistence focus groups specifically of African American male students Data Coach advised us to use African American male faculty and staff only. Training ensued.
Although I didnt hesitate to follow the advice of our data coach, I couldnt help wondering if I couldnt be just as effective 20 years of conducting (unstructured) focus groups Egocentrism? What we found Students relayed similar persistence barriers as we found in general focus groups Except when a non-African American male (AA male) facilitated!
AA male students did NOT mention AA male-specific barriers with non-AA male focus group facilitator (Data Coach for training purposes and Year 1 focus groups) Students mentioned AA male-specific barriers only when facilitators were AA males and when only AA male students were in the groups. What were the barriers? (24 barriers) AA Male Experience (69 barriers) (17 barriers)
Institutional Managing College Life and Goals Managing College Life and Goals: time management, work and family issues, transitioning to college AA Male Experience Negative Peer, Community, and Family Influences (12)
Not seeing others of the same race/gender (6) Stereotyping (6) Institutional barriers: college resources such as navigating campuses and textbooks. In Summary AA male students more candid with AA male facilitators Literature tells us this is true with other non-white groups (Guiffrida, D.A. , 2010; Padilla, R. V., Trevino, J., Gonzlez, K. P., & Trevino, J.,1997)
Begs the question: What other data and information do I miss through a one size fits all approach to data collection, analysis, and reporting? References Gonzlez , K.P. (2009) Using Data to Increase Student Success: A Focus on Diagnosis Principles and Practices of Student Success. Lumina Foundation for Education: Indianapolis, IN. Guiffrida, D.A. & Douthit, K.Z. (2010) The Black Student Experience at Predominantly White Colleges: Implications for
School and College Counselors. Journal of Counseling and Development, http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-230150805.html Padilla, R. V., Trevino, J., Gonzlez, K. P., & Trevino, J. (1997). Developing local models of minority student success in college. Journal of College Student Development, 38, 125-135. From Faculty to Research to Faculty Lessons learned about the power of data in changing the institutions ability to have difficult conversations Preface to Wilma Dulins Comments What informed me? Bennetts Intercultural Sensitivity Stages: 1.
2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Denial or parochialism Defense and assumptions of superiority Minimization or trivialization of acknowledged cultural differences Acceptance, respect for differences Adaptation or empathic understanding of others world views Integration, including contextual
What informed me? Racial Identify Models Focused on changing how individuals perceive themselves with respect to race Some models focus on separating groups for training Other models assume that either or all groups are influenced by the same activities but that their cognitive explanations may differ
What I knew about faculty I realized that my peers were not mean people I acknowledged that none of us had THE answer I knew that scholarly research was more likely to be tolerated I knew that numbers, data could be helpful
The Value of Drilling Deeper: Myth Busting Whats changed as a result? More open dialogue within the college Students, Faculty, Staff, Administrators How can we explain this finding? More open dialogue with our communities Stakeholders, concerned citizens, Board Members
What guidance do you have? Let us show you what we are trying to do! But I still need to be on guard, to change me Dangers of researcher-ese and a White bias towards following research rules References to small ns may imply negative importance References to significance in statistical findings may imply negative importance
Preference for data over anecdotes may miss the point of the story as teacher
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