Equity & Inclusion

Cascadia College values the rich diversity of our students, staff, and faculty and strives to meaningfully include all of the campus community in collectively building a college rooted in equity, social justice, and centering our most vulnerable populations. Moreover, Cascadia prioritizes substantive change over symbolic gestures of solidarity for all of the historically marginalized members of our campus community. Equity & Inclusion at Cascadia is a collective responsibility shared by the entire campus; it is a both an end goal and continual process.

Events

There are currently no events scheduled, but please check back later.

Policy

Cascadia champions meaningful representation of all people’s identities and diverse backgrounds on campus and advocates for consequential inclusion in hiring, decision making, and leadership at all levels. Cascadia maintains that equity and inclusion are institutional priorities and are demonstrated by:

  1. the hiring and retention of qualified individuals in classified, exempt, and faculty positions that represent diverse communities;
  2. engaging in proactive outreach and retention efforts to students who represent diverse communities;
  3. continuing to develop, provide, and support courses that create significant learning experiences around equity, diversity, and power through active learning, critical thinking, communication, and interaction.
  4. allocating relevant and appropriate resources for the implementation of this policy;
  5. being culturally responsive, sensitive, and cognizant of Cascadia’s diversity in campus-wide communications;
  6. providing on-going professional development and learning opportunities regarding equity and inclusion topics;
  7. including an intersectional lens during the decision-making process that affects different segments of the campus community;
  8. conducting annual assessments of Cascadia’s equity and inclusion goals;
  9. providing constructive accountability in order to advance the equity and inclusion goals at Cascadia; and,
  10. engaging in the continual work to eliminate institutional barriers based on biological sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, national origin, citizenship, socioeconomic status, age, military and veteran status, disability, language, culture, and religious beliefs.

Inclusive Campus Pledge

On January 17th, 2017, President Eric Murray and UW Bothell Chancellor Wolf Yeigh signed a pledge to be an inclusive and hate-free campus.

Campus Climate Assessment Plan

Background

State Requirements

In May of 2021, the Washington State Legislature enacted Senate Bill 5227 relating to diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism at institutions of higher education. Included in that Bill (section 3) is the requirement for all colleges to conduct campus climate assessments (CCAs) and campus listening and feedback sessions. (SBCTC CCA Guidance)

  • Each college must submit a plan by July 1, 2022 overviewing their plan and progress on their implementation.
  • CCA findings must also be posted on your college website.

Cascadia’s Plan

College Contextual Work

  • We have strategic initiatives based on a decade of listening, data (See Appendix A: Strategic Plan Equity Initiatives (2021-2022, 2022-2023). Examples of the listening, dialogs, and data include
    • Over multiple years, the College community engaged in Cavolines, DIAs (non-instructional Day of Inquiry and Assembly)
    • 2019-2022 The Executive Director of Equity and Inclusion, conducted an Intercultural Development Inventory to assess intercultural competency among the college community.
  • Identify plan actions
    • Foundations (1/3 employees have completed, goal for 22-23 is to reach 50%)

Action Plan for 2022-2023

Term

Action

Owner(s)

Outcome(s)

Summer 2022

Identify CCA tool(s) for students and employees

E&I Council Work team

  • Identify Tool
  • Develop implementation plan

September 2022

Review student success disaggregate outcome data

  • Identify gaps, gates, and barriers

Fall 2022

Launch the Community Voices (strategic plan initiatives: Scholars, Diversity & Equity Center, student leaders, and other

EDEI, Guided Pathway Assoc. Dean, Director IE

  • Capture qualitative feedback to dive deeper in the student and employee experience to supplement quantitative data.

Fall 2022

Deploy CCA tool(s)

Director IE

  • Capture climate data

Fall 2022

Focus October DIA or drop-in services to discuss data

EDEI

Winter 2023

Summarize feedback, draft actions for 23-24 strategic plan

EDEI

Spring 2023

Review impact/outcomes of 22-23 E&I strategic initiatives

EDEI

Next Action Steps

  • May E&I Council
    • Review the plan
    • Identify a summer workgroup to identify survey tools in collaboration with IE
  • Summer
    • Develop student feedback plan

Resources

Core Mission Area: Equitable

Completed

Mission Outcome

  1. Increase student and employee diversity
  2. Increase equity outcomes for students and employees

Increase student and employee equity outcomes

Objective

Create a sense of belonging and establish a support network

Ensure an equitable starting point for employees

Connect with Indigenous Community

Initiative, Activity, Program

Establish employee affinity groups

Remodel the hiring process through an E&I lens

Implement the Equity Advocate program for hiring committees

Co-create a land acknowledgment with Indigenous Community

Governance Body & Executive

EDEI, E&I Advisory Council

Performance Indicators

Employee retention

Employee demographics Employee year-by-year retention rates

Candidate demographics for semi-finalists and finalists

Progression & retention rates

Measure: Long-term Outcomes

Increase hiring and retention rates among systemically non-dominant employees

Increase hiring and Retention of systemically non-dominant employees

Increase hiring of systemically non-dominant employees

Increase:

  • sense of belonging
  • Indigenous students and employees
  • Retention of Indigenous students & employees

Data Source

ctcLink data HR data

HR data

HR data

ctcLink data HR data Student & employee surveys

Continued

Mission Outcome

  1. Increase student and employee diversity
  2. Increase equity outcomes for students and employees
  1. Increase student success
  2. Increase equity outcomes for students
  1. Increase employee diversity
  2. Increase employee equity outcomes
  1. Increase student success
  2. Increase equity outcomes for students

Objective

Create a sense of belonging and establish a support network

Guarantee an equitable starting point for students

Ensure an equitable starting point for employees

Guarantee an equitable starting point for students

Initiative, Activity, Program

Expand the Cascadia Scholars Mentorship Program (second year, 1st year of full program)

Expand High School Students of Color / Social Justice Conferences

Translate CCF and other program materials into additional languages (delayed due to funding)

E&I Foundations Expansion to reach 50% of employees (program expansion)

Conduct an English and Math placement and success data review (delayed due to capacity)

Governance Body & Executive

EDEI, E&I Advisory Council

EDE&I

VPSLS, VPERP

EDE&I

VPSLS

Performance Indicators

1st 15, 30, 45 credits

# Participants

Increase in BEdA enrollment

# New participants

Initial placement levels by placement source

Measure: Long-term Outcomes

Increase retention and completion rates amongst systemically non-dominant students

  • Increase new FTE
  • Increase enrollment of systemically non-dominant students

Increased enrollment in BEdA

  • Increase sense of belonging
  • retention of systemically non-dominant employees

Completion rate of program level Math & English at 45 credits (disaggregated)

Data Source

ctcLink data

Event data ctcLink data

ctcLink student data

Program data

Placement data ctcLink data

New

Mission Outcome

Increase student and employee equity outcomes

  1. Increase student and employee diversity
  2. Increase equity outcomes for students and employees

Objective

Connect with Indigenous Community

Create a sense of belonging and establish a support network

Initiative, Activity, Program

Hire an AIIS Faculty Program Coordinator and launch program

Community Voices: Annual climate and experience feedback

Governance Body & Executive

VPSLS, EDE

EDE&I

Performance Indicators

Enrollment 1st 15, 30, 45 credits

# Responses

Measure: Long-term Outcomes

  • Improve sense of belonging for American Indian and Indigenous students
  • Increase retention and completion rates amongst systemically non-dominant students

Increase retention and completion rates amongst systemically non-dominant students

Data Source

Student Voices Program Assessments ctcLink Data

Program Assessments ctcLink data

Cascadia College – DEI Strategic Plan (2022-2023)

We are the community’s college. We deliver accessible, equitable, and superior educational experiences to inspire every person to achieve their educational and career goal.

Our Mission, Vision, and Value Statement

Like many community colleges Cascadia has a broad mission to serve our community defined by our service district. Our new strategic plan puts a focus on what matters most within that broad mission. During the fall of 2020 we explored our mission as a community to consider whether the current language resonates with what matters most. To some extent, we have spent the last two years identifying what matters most to us: the success of our students and employees, with a special emphasis on ensuring the success of systematically non-dominant* students and employees.

This focus aligns with our long-standing values: Cascadia College believes that every person's background, which includes identifiers such as ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and ability, helps enrich the lives of others when an environment is conducive to the expression of that identity. It is our deep commitment to provide a space where diversity, equity, and inclusion thrives and leads to social justice, another important concept on our campus. Our culture seeks and supports diversity, equity, and inclusion. We firmly believe everyone's history contributes to the collective success of our community. Further, our focus aligns with our supporting agencies, SBCTC, and the NWCCU. (Cascadia College Strategic Plan)

College Mission Outcomes

Our College mission outcomes guiding our strategic plan center all of us on what matters most:

  • Increase student success
  • Increase our diversity
  • Increase equity outcomes for our students and employees

Planning Approach

With the impact of COVID in mind, we identified the following principles to guide us in creating a strategic process and plan that allows our community to thrive during this unique time in our institutional journey:

  • Focus on what matters most – our students and employees
  • Engage in strategic planning to purposefully initiate change within the institution
  • Accept that all work is important, not all is strategic
  • Demonstrate mission fulfillment by constructing a living document that will continue to evolve so that we can be nimble, flexible, and adaptive during these uncertain times.

Cascadia’s Annual Strategic Planning Cycle

We have adopted continuous improvement as our planning style to give life to our Plan. Continuous improvement brings strategic plans to daily work by adopting a continuous cycle (think – plan – do – assess – think…) that we are building into an annual process utilizing non-instructional days so as to bring together our entire community for strategic work (demonstrated in figure 1).

circular chart of planning cycle
Figure 1: Annual Strategic Planning Cycle

Goals, Objectives, and Success Metrics

Goal: Culturally Appropriate Student Outreach Program

Initiative/Action

Implement Latinx outcome program

Redesign the college’s website with the following lenses:

  • Inclusive Design
  • Guided Pathways
  • Equity

Translate College & Career Foundation and other program materials into additional languages

Establish a American Indian and Indigenous program (hiring a Full-time Faculty/Program coordinator)

Mission Outcome

  • Increase student success
  • Increase our diversity

Objective

  • Increase Latinx student enrollments
  • Create a sense of belonging
  • Establish a success support network
  • Simplify and clarify prospective student information
  • Create a sense of belonging
  • Create an equitable starting point for students
  • Create a sense of belonging for students and employees

Metrics

  • Applications
  • Registrations
  • Applications
  • Registrations
  • Student experience feedback (qualitative)
  • Student enrollment and success of systemically non-dominant students
  • Student enrollment and success of systemically non-dominant students

Goal: Peer Mentoring Strategies

Initiative/Action

Cascadia Scholars

E&I Foundations Expansion to reach 50% of employees (program expansion)

Mission Outcome

  • Increase student and diversity
  • Increase equity outcomes for students
  • Increase employee diversity
  • Increase employee equity outcomes

Objectives

  • Creating a sense of belonging for underrepresented and marginalized students
  • Offering support and resources to assist along the academic journey
  • Create a network of support and success
  • Increase sense of belonging retention of systemically non-dominant employees

Metrics

  • Increase retention and completion rates amongst systemically non-dominant students
  • # of participants
  • % of employee base completing the course

Goal: Faculty Diversity Program

Initiative/Action

Utilize Equity Search Advocates on every hiring

Prioritize new positions to focus on recruiting faculty of color

Create a community of practice within the existing tenure process, and across other colleges with AIIS program

Mission Outcome

  • Increase student and employee diversity
  • Increase equity outcomes for students and employees

Objective

  • Increase hiring of systemically non-dominant employees
  • Ensure an equitable starting point for systemically non-dominant employees
  • Create a system of support
  • Create a sense of belonging and success
  • Improve sense of belonging for American Indian and Indigenous students
  • Increase retention and completion rates amongst systemically non-dominant students

Metrics

  • Disaggregated full-time faculty
  • Disaggregated full-time faculty retention
  • Faculty retention rate
  • Successful completion of tenure process

Goal: DEI Definitions

Initiative/Action

Web re-design: Update and expand E&I definitions

Mission Outcome

  • Increase student and employee diversity

Objective

  • Improve sense of belonging for systematically non-dominate students and employees

Metrics

  • Disaggregated student and employee data

Conclusion/Next Steps

Institutional Effectiveness:

  • The EDI plan represents a significant initiatives in Cascadia Colleges Strategic Plan and our established institutional effectiveness program.
  • The EDI plan will be included in our 2023 NWCCU Mid-Cycle report as a exhibit of mission fulfillment.

Transparency:

  1. Ensure the plan is an accessible document.
  2. Post to the Cascadia website.
  3. Provide routine updates throughout the year during public Board of Trustee meeting.

Public Metrics:

  • Assessment sources include web metrics, ctcLink data, and internal surveys.
  • Public outcome dashboard will be available fall 2022.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Definitions

Cascadia College values the rich diversity of our students, staff, and faculty and strives to meaningfully include all of the campus community in collectively building a college rooted in diversity, equity, and social justice.

These definitions provide a broad overview of E&I terms that most will come across. They are not the only definitions that can be found; rather they are ones that align with Cascadia's approach to this work. They allow our campus community to form a common language around E&I. Further exploration of and dialogue about these definitions is encouraged to expand understanding and to bring in other wisdom, ideas, and perspectives.

Diversity

Individual differences (personality, ideas, communication style, learning style, way of dress, life experiences, etc.) and group/social differences (race/ethnicity, culture, class, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, ability, religion, political affiliation, other affiliations). Refers not only to dimensions of individual and group/social difference, but also the intentional efforts and conscious practices to appreciate difference, prevent discrimination, and ensure representation at all levels organizational leadership and decision-making.

Equity

Access to the resources, networks, education, opportunities, conditions, and support each individual needs to survive/succeed based on their goals. Supporting each person in reaching their full potential while also recognizing each person needs something different to do so. Recognizing and seeking to dismantle systems of oppression that keep people or groups from being included, achieving outcomes, and reaching their full potential.

Inclusion

The action or state of being included within a group or structure with authentic and empowered participation and a true sense of belonging. Inclusion is active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity in curriculum, policies, procedures, project development, teamwork, etc. Inclusion notices individual and groups not represented within a system, process, etc. and seeks to increase representation and connect people in ways that increase awareness, knowledge, and understanding.

Culturally competent

A process of learning about, interacting with, appreciating, understanding, and knowing how to support people from other cultures, thereby broadening the ability to participate in a multicultural community effectively and respectfully. Cultural competence is essential in doing less harm to marginalized groups, to support those around us, and to make progress on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Culturally appropriate

Interacting with, engaging, and affirming individuals and communities in an inclusive, kind, respectful, and sensitive manner. Breaking down barriers and intentionally seeking to relate better with people and build supportive and mutually beneficial relationships and connections. Being culturally appropriate comes with increased cultural competence and exposure to diverse individuals and communities.

Historically marginalized communities

To be marginalized is the process of becoming or being made marginal within a larger group setting, with the effect of making a group or class of people less important or relegated to a secondary position. Marginalization is an experience of groups who are excluded from or denied political, economic, and social inclusion or equity in society, and hence, relegated to its margins. It can also refer to an individual who is rendered voiceless or irrelevant. Historically marginalized communities are those communities that have repeatedly and consistently experienced marginalization throughout history.

Communities of color

The acronym BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) is used at Cascadia College rather than communities of color or POC (people of color). This is because not all communities and people of color in the United States face the same levels of injustice. BIPOC is used to highlight that Indigenous and Black or African American people have unique relationships to whiteness compared to other people of color in the United States. They face the worst consequences of systemic white supremacy and settler colonialism, and their challenges and opportunities deserve recognition.

Low-income communities

This is a formal term with definitions and those who meet the definition determined by the U.S. Census and other Federal government agencies. Cascadia College aims to contextualize low-income communities by viewing systems through the lenses of power, privilege, and oppression because low-income communities do not exist without those forces at play. With an understanding of power, privilege, and oppression communities can work collaboratively to dismantle oppression, redistribute power, and use privilege for social change.

Community organizations

An organization with a mission and vision of making desired improvements to a community through the ideas, goals, and solutions of those the organization is aiming to positively impact.

Conversation Agreements

  1. Show up for each other with shared intent – Engage with sincerity, humility, and curiosity; listen deeply and seek to lift each other up on the journey
  2. Use I statements – Speak only for yourself and not on the behalf of a collective
  3. Hold space for growth – Each person represents a different life experience and point of entry; questions are welcome and received with support and encouragement
  4. WAIT (Why Am I Talking) – If you are used to having your voice heard, listen instead of talking
  5. WANT (Why Am I Not Talking) – If you are not used to having your voice heard, give it a try
  6. Maintain cooperative space vs competitive space – Seek to be humble and to understand rather than trying to prove yourself
  7. Remember, we are on the same team, the team striving toward equity – Please work with us toward our shared vision; we are here to further your cause
  8. Expect and accept non-closure – This work will never be done fast enough or perfect enough; there will be loose ends that get tidied later
  9. Maintain confidentiality by not sharing, talking about, or otherwise relaying people’s information or stories with others
  10. Honor shared governance – Ideas and requests made during the Town Hall will go through the usual processes of shared governance, this is to ensure that the ideas and requests align with Cascadia values and meet the needs of the community

Support at Cascadia

Individuals and groups have particular needs. The following programs, places, and services are to support students at Cascadia:

Focused Support

LGBTQ+

  • Trevor Lifeline 1.866.488.7386 - Provides crisis intervention, suicide prevention, and life-affirming services to LGBTQ youth ages 13-24.
  • Trans Lifeline 1.877.565.8860

Living with Mental Illness

Muslim

Spanish

Students of Color

Resources