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Campus Equity and Engagement

Framework for Diversity Assessment and Planning

Conversations about campus diversity efforts are often based in an emotional perspective deeply rooted in a sense of social justice. Developing the framework offered an alternative perspective, a way of looking at diversity issues differently, still rooted in a passion for educational and social justice, but grounded in quantitative evidence.
– Rachel Wellman, Multicultural Services Director, Olympic College

The purpose of the Framework for Diversity Assessment and Planning (2003) is to provide campuses with a tool they can use to assess their efforts to promote and support the academic achievement of students of color.

The framework approaches diversity planning by using data gathered about the environment of the institution and the surrounding community. This approach has a strong quantitative focus, and it is designed to use information that campuses can readily access.

In order to help teams collect data and information about diversity efforts in a systematic way, the framework divides campus work into eight major categories:

  • Access
  • Student progression and achievement
  • Student goal attainment and completion
  • Hiring and retaining staff, faculty, and
    administrators of color
  • Instruction
  • Student services
  • Administration
  • Physical environment

Campus teams may elect to collect data and information within one or two of these major categories, but the benefit of the framework as an analytical tool is its comprehensiveness; it crosses divisional lines.

Using the framework can be the first step to developing an action plan for addressing diversity issues at an institution. In order to be successful, any action plan should be aligned and integrated with other college plans and strategic directions, and should include a plan for assessing the effectiveness of measures taken.

Gathering and assessing information across categories and divisions can also provide a unique professional development opportunity as multicultural affairs professions, who do not have a strong background in assessment, and assessment experts, who have very little background in multicultural education, gain new perspectives.

The framework was developed through a collaborative process that involved the Washington State Board for Community Colleges, the Washington Center, the Multicultural Student Services Directors Council, the Student Services Commission, and the Instruction Commission.


A Collaboratively Designed Catalyst for Change: Introducing the Framework for Diversity Assessment and Planning
Emily Lardner and Rhonda Coats. Washington Center News. Fall 2004.

Framework for Diversity Assessment and Planning
Washington Center. 2004.

Center for Urban Education
Website. See, in particular, their Equity Scorecard.