What problem does this study address?

Equity, diversity, and inclusion are important values in the ATE program and in community colleges in general. But figuring out how to operationalize and measure these concepts for evaluation purposes is rarely straightforward.

Why is this study important

Equity, diversity, and inclusion in STEM education and STEM workforce development are critical for U.S. economic vitality. Yet women and people of color drop out of STEM at higher rates than their male, white counterparts. In the absence of practical guidance and tools for measuring equity, diversity, and inclusion, these issues are not likely to receive the attention they deserve within ATE evaluations.

How will EvaluATE (or others) use the study findings?

EvaluATE will use the study findings to develop practical resources and tools to help ATE project staff and evaluators measure equity, diversity, and inclusion as part of their project evaluations.  Preliminary results have already been the focus of webchats and conference presentations, bringing greater attention to the issue within the program.

How are the researchers conducting the study?

The first step in this study was to leverage EvaluATE’s surveys of ATE principal investigators and evaluators to learn how they are defining and measuring equity, diversity, and inclusion. The researchers are also interviewing ATE principal investigators and evaluators to learn more about this aspect of their work and to identify barriers and promising practices. The study will culminate with case studies to provide an in-depth look at current practices. These methods will provide evidence to answer five research questions:

  1. How are ATE grantees currently defining and measuring equity, diversity, and inclusion in their research and evaluation practices?
  2. To what extent do the current practices and data collection methods align with the NAS objectives and indicators?
  3. What conditions or resources are necessary in order for ATE projects to successfully gather and report data on the NAS indicators?
  4. What conditions exist in the ATE context (community colleges) that impede or facilitate the collection of sound data on equity, diversity, and inclusion?
  5. What is the perceived validity and utility of project-level data on equity, diversity, and inclusion?

Research Team

Boyce Headshot

Ayesha Boyce

Arizona State University

Tiffany Tovey

The University North Carolina at Greensboro

JR Moller

Graduate Student, UNC Greensboro

Onyinyechukwu Onwuka

Graduate Student, UNC Greensboro

Tyler Clark

Graduate Student, UNC Greensboro

Study Findings

Additional Reads

Nation Science Foundation Logo EvaluATE is supported by the National Science Foundation under grant number 1841783. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed on this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.