Each campus assembles one or more cross-divisional teams of 10-15 faculty, staff, and/or administrators who will then be empowered to greatly enhance the evidence-based cultures of inquiry at their institution. The impact of the program is scaled as program participants— following a train-the-trainer model—return to their departments and programs and build capacity among their campus peers to engage in an increasingly evidence-based and equity-minded approach to student success. The learning community built along the way constitutes a network of similarly-minded educators who become a valuable source of knowledge and support for each other. If your campus is interested in learning more about sending a team to our Analytics Certificate Program in the future, please contact us.
Photo credit: Ime Etuk
OCTOBER 5, 2021
This alumni guest blog is written by Cal State East Bay data action project co-leads Sarah Aubert (Academic Programs & Services Analyst) and Steven “The Prof” Cleveland (Ethnic Studies Entitled Lecturer & History Lecturer, Diversity and Inclusion Student Center-African American Fellow). Both are alumni of our 2020 Cohort.
Black Excellence: the celebration of success in the Black community. Black Excellence is a collective mindset that recognizes the extra work required by Black people to achieve the same as their peers. While Black Excellence is a celebration of hard work and perseverance, it’s rooted in discrimination: Black folks shouldn’t have to do extra or carry superfluous burdens to reach the same American Dream as anyone else. This notion is not lost on the higher education system.
Black students at Cal State East Bay haven’t been graduating at the same rate as their peers. We see this throughout other 4-year institutions as well. Why? As folks tackle that question, they often center stories of Black students who are struggling to succeed under the weight of systemic racism. But our approach is to center Black achievement over Black failure as we look to solutions that can shrink the graduation gap for Black students. Our project aims to amplify the voices of successful Black students in higher education by sharing their stories, increasing representation, and promoting institutional best practices that lead to Black student success.
When Black students do achieve success, it’s often because of their own perseverance and resilience. Successful Black Students thrive in communities. Community is the key to success. These students are supported by campus faculty and staff who are intentional about providing the support needed to help them reach their goals. Many of these communities are created without resources or are under-resourced.
Cal State East Bay graduate, Bidemi Animashaun spearheaded with her fellow students the creation of the Black Student Resource Center on campus. While sharing her story, she identifies the immediate need for this community, “Black people aren’t being supported the way that they need to be. [With] the tax dollars or tuition dollars that we’re paying to come to the school, we didn’t feel that they were actually being utilized [in a way] to make sure we not only started, but that we also finished.”
The Black Excellence Project will serve as a pilot program at California State University, East Bay where success is defined as students who graduate in two years from the institution as a transfer student, and in four years as entering freshmen. We see this as a three-phase process:
Phase 1: Identify Excellent students and capture their stories.
Phase 2: Amplify and share their stories; spotlight their success and Excellence for their peers and communities.
Phase 3: Collect and translate the data found, then create, highlight, and recommend implementations to improve rates of Excellence.
If you are interested in joining this team-based program, please submit the information below and we will gladly assist you. Don’t have a team? No problem! You can also join as an individual participant and we will connect you to a team on our end.