Equity at Kish
Kishwaukee College fosters an environment of inclusion, diversity and equity for all. The College’s values of inclusion and accessibility are indicative of our commitment to ensuring all learners know they are welcomed and valued members of the Kish community. We believe everyone deserves a quality, affordable education and any barriers or completion gaps must be addressed.
In the spring of 2019, we joined the Illinois Equity in Attainment Initiative (ILEA), the signature initiative of the Partnership for College Completion (PCC). We have committed, along with 27 other colleges and universities, to one goal: eliminating the achievement gap for students of color and low income students.
When we joined the PCC, we began breaking down the data and realized we had some work to do.
Our current State of Illinois data reflects that of African-American students, only 13.4% completed. Of Latinx students only 21.7% completed. Compare that to White students, of which 42.3% completed across the entire state. Furthermore, 36.6% of students not receiving Pell grants completed, but only 24.8% of Pell grant recipients completed.
Kish’s data shows a similar story. Only 11.9% of our African-American students completed their credential within a 3-year period. Of our Latinx students, only 34.3% completed. Our White students completed at 45.2%. The achievement gap among the three groups needed to be addressed.
Additional data told us more. Even though the overall graduation rate increased from Fall 2011 to Fall 2015, the disparity between African-American and Latinx students with their White peers existed.
The 2019-2020 academic year saw the implementation of new strategies to move us toward the goal of closing achievement gaps. Ultimately, we hope to eliminate the gap entirely. You can read our entire Equity Plan to see how we plan to make that happen.
As part of our involvement with the ILEA, we created an equity statement to reflect our goal and commitment to all our students. It reads:
We are committed to a sustainable culture of equity, focused on respect and fairness, in all aspects of the Kishwaukee College experience.
Equity in higher education is about ensuring all learners have what they need to complete their program. For some, financial assistance is needed. For others, it’s fulfilling basic needs like food or transportation support. Whatever the barrier, the College has a host of resources to help students facing barriers to completion. These include:
Kishwaukee College serves all learners and continues the great work to reduce barriers and to close the gap. You can find more of our current data in the 2019 Annual Data Book.
For now, we will continue to execute our Equity Plan and implement the best strategies to support all students who chose Kish.
The members of Kish’s PCC team are:
Laurie Borowicz, President
Joanne Kantner, Vice President of Instruction
Michelle Rothmeyer, Vice President of Student Services
Pernevlon Ellis, Assistant Professor
Ann Mueller, Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Tutoring Services
Matthew Crull, Director of Research and Data Management
Dariana Lee, Director of Student Success
Barbara Leach, Associate Dean