Reflections on Educational Equity: OCCRL’s Fall 2012 UPDATE Newsletter

by Julia Makela / Dec 6, 2012

Education has long been understood as a key component of the ‘American Dream’ – an equalizing force that provides opportunities to change life trajectories. In order for this dream to take shape, even the most marginalized of students must be given not only equal, but equitable, education opportunities in order to overcome existing social inequities. And yet, disparities in academic outcomes persist. Throughout the educational pipeline, racial and ethnic minorities, students from low socioeconomic backgrounds, students with disabilities, and other underrepresented groups underperform as compared to their counterparts.

OCCRL’s Fall 2012 Update newsletter addresses these issues head-on, introducing efforts to enhance equity in postsecondary education by disrupting the status quo, interweaving attention to context into daily higher education practice, and empowering traditionally underserved student populations.

It was a pleasure to serve as a Co-Editor of this Fall’s UPDATE newsletter at OCCRL, interacting with scholars and practitioners who wrestle with issues related to educational equity on a daily basis. I invite you to explore:

    • an interview with Eboni Zamani-Gallaher, who shares insights on the status of equity research in higher education, innovative equity-related practices and policies, and opportunities for furthering equity agenda, as well as offers recommendations for higher education professionals who wish to promote equity on their campuses;
    • articles by Erin Castro (University of Utah) and Brian Durham (Illinois Community College Board) that explore contextual influences on education equity;
    • articles by OCCRL researchers Lorenzo Baber and Randi Congleton who examine equity from the perspective of underserved student populations; and
    • a contribution from Mary Kay Devine (Women Employed) introducing the new Pathways to Careers Network, which is an initiative to increase college and career success for adult learners with low basic skills.

I also welcome you to join the conversation on this very important topic. Use the discussion board features on this website to share your thoughts on the ideas shared by these authors.