Educators’ Beliefs: The Answer to Increasing Access to STEM

button-download-workshop-files Strand: Equitable leadership practices
Time: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 from 9:15 – 10:30 am
Room: Monroe

ABSTRACT

Demographic shifts are creating the necessity for K-12 systems to actively engage the challenge of school transformation. Policies, practices, and procedures are no longer sufficient to serve the range of diversity that constitutes the growing student groups comprising many large systems across the country. Baltimore County Public Schools has been engaging in systemic equity training in response to changes in its student and community demographic, specifically challenging staff to consider how race, gender, socioeconomic status, language, and access to rigor impacts the schooling process. The examination of which allows for an analysis of how educator beliefs impact outcomes that promote or detract from students’ access to enrollment in higher level courses that will lead to developing skills necessary to choose STEM careers. This presentation will describe the process, lessons learned, and next steps in this systemic work.

PRESENTER(s)

audlinPresenter 1

Jennifer Audlin
Specialist
Baltimore County Public Schools

Biography: Ms. Jennifer Audlin grew up in Maryland before going to Flagler College in Florida for her undergraduate degrees in English–Secondary Ed, Spanish Ed–K-12, and Latin American Studies. She spent 6 months of her undergraduate studies in Santiago, Chile where she worked on improving her Spanish and Cultural Proficiency. After college, she was hired by Baltimore County Public Schools to teach Spanish. She completed her Masters degree in Michoacán, México. Upon returning she worked to create a system of support to Hispanic students and their families and was the first and only to teach a Spanish course to Spanish-speakers with the goal of improving their literacy skills in Spanish and English.  Ms. Audlin currently works in the Department of Equity and Cultural Proficiency facilitating seminars about racial equity, restorative practices and culturally responsive instruction in additional to coaching school and district leaders as the district strives to close achievement gaps while raising the bar.

Twitter: @jaudlin

durant_tracey

Presenter 2

Tracey Durant, Ed.D.
Specialist
Baltimore County Public Schools

Biography: Dr. Tracey L. Durant: Dr. Tracey L. Durant is a Specialist in the Office of Equity and Cultural Proficiency for Baltimore County Public Schools. Formerly Dr. Durant was the Director of Professional Development at Maryland Nonprofits. Prior to joining Maryland Nonprofits, Dr. Durant was the founding Executive Director of the 100 Black Men of Maryland College Access Program (100 CAP). During her tenure as the Coordinator of Learning Assistance at the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), she was responsible for coordinating Title III grant initiatives related to improving developmental education pass rates and closing the achievement gap. She holds degrees from Sojourner-Douglass College, Coppin State University and Morgan State University. Dr. Durant serves as President of the Board of Directors for Child First Authority, Incorporated; President of the Maryland Multicultural Coalition, President of the CollegeBound Foundation Alumni Association, and the Governance/Nominating Committee Chair for Chimes Foundation, Incorporated.

Twitter: @traceyldurant

logan_candicePresenter 3

Candice Logan-Washington
Specialist
Baltimore County Public Schools

Biography:  Dr. Candice Logan-Washington is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and was educated in the Baltimore County Public School System. She’s currently a Specialist in the Office of Equity and Cultural Proficiency within the Baltimore County Public Schools and holds a doctorate in Urban Educational Leadership with a dual focus in school administration and social policy from Morgan State University. She is an adjunct professor and researcher at Notre Dame University of Maryland. Her research interests include issues of equity and access for marginalized student populations, teacher preparation, training and development.  She believes 21st century teaching, learning and leading requires us to let go of what we currently know about the educational landscape and embrace the dexterity, alternative routes to mastery, global prospectives and simple complexities that today’s learners have to offer.  She is the wife of Gerry Washington Jr. and mother to Gerry III and Logan Washington

Her favorite quote is: “Spread kindness like confetti”

williams_lisaPresenter 4

Lisa Williams, EdD
Director of Equity and Cultural Proficiency
Baltimore County Public Schools

Biography:  Dr. Lisa Williams: Dr. Lisa Williams is Director of Equity and Cultural Proficiency for the Baltimore County Public School System where she is responsible for all educational equity and access initiatives.  Dr. Williams has held the position of teacher, mentor, university professor, and Title I director over her career in education. She has bachelors’ degrees in biology and psychology, a master’s in psychology, and a doctorate in Urban Educational Leadership with an emphasis in social policy.  She has presented at the local, state, and national level on topic related to improving outcomes for marginalized student populations.  Her dissertation study examined Responsive to Intervention (RtI) and the performance of students attending Title I schools.  She has expertise in the areas of educational equity, culturally responsive practice, and school transformation.  Her first book, When Treating all the Kids the Same is the Real Problem:  Educational Leadership and the 21st Century Dilemma of Difference (co-authored with Dr. Kendra Johnson, Esq.) was released in October 2014.

brown_margaretPresenter 5

Margaret Berrios Brown
Baltimore County Public Schools

Biography:  Margaret Berrios Brown is an educator with twenty years of experience in the areas of Bilingual Education and English language learning.   As a member of team BCPS, Margie continued working in ESOL and transitioned to the Office of Equity and Cultural Proficiency.  Prior to BCPS, she served in a variety of leadership roles with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District with the Multicultural Education Program and Department of Curriculum and Instruction.  She was part of the design team for Cleveland’s first Pre-K -12 International Newcomer Academy (Thomas Jefferson Newcomer’s Academy) for English language learners.   Margie is a graduate of Cleveland State University and is enrolled in the master’s program of Leadership and Equity and Cultural Proficiency at Notre Dame of Maryland University.

DESCRIPTION

In this interactive session, participants will learn how to (1) examine district practices and procedures using a racial equity lens, (2) analyze the critical role of adaptive leadership for educators who are advancing an agenda to eliminate racially predictable achievement outcomes and increase participation in STEM, and (3) provide support to leaders and teachers to address racial disparities and increase participation in and success in STEM.

A primary objective for this session is to challenge educators to re-examine their assumptions, beliefs, and values and interrogate how they have contributed to inequities in opportunities and access to educational outcomes for marginalized and underserved students. This interrogation is necessary to provoke change that will lead to systemic educational transformation and increase in access to STEM for students.

“Not In Our House!”: A state agency’s preliminary self-examination to build capacity for equity-minded leadership

button-download-workshop-files Strand: Equitable leadership practices
Time: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 from 9:15 – 10:30 am
Room: Roanoke

ABSTRACT

In 2017, the WA State Board for Community and Technical Colleges stepped into the challenge of determining critical diversity and equity goals. Join the presenters in exploring the first year of a systemic equity transformation process. Changing institutional culture by way of collaborative inquiry, system partnerships, and leadership development will be key areas of discussion. Leave the session with insights on how you can begin to address disparities within your own institution.

PRESENTER(s)

hnguyenPresenter 1

Ha Nguyen
Policy Associate – Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
WA State Board for Community and Technical Colleges

Biography: Ha Nguyen has been a leader in Washington State’s community and technical college system for 15+ years with extensive experience in supporting student success for underrepresented students within basic skills, workforce, and general transfer pathway programs. Currently, she is a Policy Associate for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the WA State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC), and leads emerging equity initiatives for the Basic Skills division and broader SBCTC agency. She was also a first-generation, low-income college student whose mother attended English as a Second Language (ESL) classes after resettling into the United States as Vietnamese refugees. She is a proud graduate of the WA State higher education system and completed doctoral studies in Higher Educational Leadership from Seattle University. Her interest areas include leading change efforts to ensure equitable environments for all.

Social Media: (Facebook)

eesparzaPresenter 2

Edward Esparza
Policy Associate – Student Services
WA State Board for Community and Technical Colleges

Biography: Edward Esparza is a Policy Associate with the WA State Board of Community and Technical Colleges, and staffs several student services councils, including Multicultural Student Services Council, Advising and Counseling Council, Council of Unions for Student Programs, and Career Employment Services Council. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from WA State University in Social Science, a Master’s degree from Seattle University’s Executive Not for Profit Leadership program, and is currently a PhD. candidate at Oregon State University’s Higher Education and Community College Leadership program.

Edward also serves as a board member for the Yakima School District, Planned Parenthood of Central Washington and was a founding member of the Hispanic Academic Achiever Program, the Yakima Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the WA State Latino Leadership Network.

Social Media: (Facebook)

DESCRIPTION

Description:
This presentation strives to share the preliminary launch of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion project at the WA State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.

Context:
Washington State will not be able to significantly reduce the disparities in postsecondary attainment without explicit equity-guided action. Evidence shows that the only path to significantly improving higher education completion rates in most states is by increasing the success of all racial, ethnic, and indigenous populations. Yet many of the policies and initiatives developed over the past decade to boost postsecondary success can inadvertently do harm to some groups. In order to truly support students who traditionally have faced greater obstacles to accessing and completing a postsecondary certificate/degree, higher education systems and educational institutions need an explicit equity focus that informs all related efforts. According to the Lumina Foundation, “No state can meet its workforce demands without attention to long-standing equity gaps.” (Improving Postsecondary Attainment: Overcoming Common Challenges to an Equity Agenda in State Policy, 2017).

Broad-based system initiatives grounded in equity are critical in meeting our state’s current and future workforce needs. While our workforce’s need for trained employees with college credentials will increase almost 60% by 2030, our state’s population will grow by only 10% over the same time period. Over the next 20 years, there simply will not be sufficient human resources to meet the overall needs of our state’s workforce if we do not develop and utilize the talents of the collective whole. Our colleges will need to shift to this growing challenge by ensuring practices and policies are firmly rooted in equity. The alternative could be detrimental to the health of our state.

As the lead state agency that provides oversight, guidance, and advocacy to the 34 community and technical colleges in its system, it is critical we examine current policies and practices to ensure that equity remains a core component within our work.

Delivery of presentation:
With 35+ years of combined experience in WA State’s CTC and higher education system and statewide work in leading and supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, we have been committed to increasing access and opportunity for underrepresented communities of color. In this presentation, we will engage the audience in a brief experiential learning activity and facilitated discussion in examining policies and practices with an intentional equity lens. We will use a guiding PPT presentation with handouts to illustrate the four priority areas and strategies deployed in the DEI project: 1) Human Resources – examined historical data on hiring trends; determined bottlenecks and gaps; implementing advocacy training; 2) Cultural Climate – created institutional self-assessment tool; 3) Lifelong Learning – developed structure for development and delivery of professional development; 4) System Alignment – equity initiatives aligned with system colleges.

Data Matters: Transparent Data to Advance Equity

button-download-workshop-filesStrand: Public Policy—Supporting Equity and Education
Time: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 from 9:15 – 10:30 am
Room: Yorktown

ABSTRACT

There are significant gaps in our information about post-secondary education and training. We do not know how much students earn after graduating from a program of study or how many are employed. We do not know how these outcomes vary by race/ethnicity, gender, or other student characteristics. This session will discuss the College Transparency Act that would amend the Higher Education Act to provide such information, and how this information would advance efforts to achieve equity.

PRESENTER(s)

Presenter 1

Bryan Wilson, Ph.D.
Director
Workforce Data Quality Campaign

Biography: Bryan Wilson directs Workforce Data Quality Campaign (WDQC), a project of National Skills Coalition (NSC). WDQC advocates for aligned, inclusive, and relevant data systems which inform education and training policies that prepare all Americans for a skilled workforce and support the nation’s economic growth. Previously, Bryan was State Policy Director for NSC, leading NSC’s efforts to assist state-based coalitions and policymakers in the development of specific policy proposals, including providing in-depth analyses of model state policies and proposals. He joined NSC in 2013.

Prior to joining NSC, Bryan was the Deputy Director of the Washington State Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board, overseeing policy, legislative activities, research, and performance accountability. He holds a doctorate in political economy from Rutgers University.

Social Media: (LinkedIN)(Twitter)(Facebook)

DESCRIPTION

There are significant gaps in our information about post-secondary education and training. For example, we do not know how much students earn after graduating from a program or how many are employed. We do not know how their outcomes vary by race/ethnicity, gender, economic status, disability status, or for veterans. And we have no way to compare their outcomes with those of graduates of other programs. Without this information, it is difficult to determine whether education and training programs are equitably providing people with the skills they need for today’s in-demand jobs.

Some states have stepped up and created data systems with public facing websites that show such information. But such information is not available nationwide. The reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) offers the opportunity to remedy this situation. The College Transparency Act would amend HEA and create a national, student level data network that includes data on student characteristics, programs of study, and employment and earnings outcomes. Students, program administrators, and policymakers would be able to see educational and labor market outcomes for different populations attending different programs of study at institutions around the nation, and the data would be comparable from one program to another. All this, while strengthening protections for privacy and data security.

This data is critical for students who want to make good decisions about enrolling in a post-secondary program, for policymakers who want to responsibly invest taxpayer dollars, and for colleges and other training providers that want to improve programs for all people.

At this session, the Director of the Workforce Data Quality Campaign, Bryan Wilson, will discuss the effort to provide transparent information on post-secondary programs and how this information would advance efforts to achieve equity. Bryan will demonstrate state websites that already provide such information and discuss the College Transparency Act that would create such a data service nationwide.

Bryan oversaw the creation of the most comprehensive state tools for information on postsecondary education and workforce program outcomes (Washington State’s Career Bridge and Workforce Training Results) and is currently working with others in D.C. to enact the College Transparency Act.

The session will include a demonstration of Washington’s Career Bridge website that has descriptions for more than 6,000 programs at four-year colleges, and community and technical colleges, private vocational schools, as well as apprenticeships and training programs run by nonprofit organizations. About 1,600 of the program descriptions include data about completion rates and post-program employment rates, industry of employment, and earnings. The session will also share information from Washington’s “Workforce Training Results,” including labor market outcomes for populations of interest.

The session will provide up-to-date information on the College Transparency Act (CTA) and the effort to create a national student level data network to would provide similar information nationwide. CTA would authorize the collection of student level data from all postsecondary programs eligible to serve students receiving federal financial aid under Title IV of the Higher Education Act. The data would include information on student: race/ethnicity, age, gender, veteran status, and other demographic information. The student level data would be matched with administrative records containing employment and earnings such that one could know the labor market outcomes for students of each population for each program of study.

Session attendees will receive a fact sheet describing the major provisions of CTA. The session will include examples of how data can be used by policymakers and program administrators to improve equitable outcomes, and by prospective students who want to enroll in a program that successfully serves people like themselves.

Becoming a Threat to Educational Inequity: The Equity Literacy Framework

button-download-workshop-filesStrand: Best practices for equitable learning environments
Time: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 from 9:15 – 10:30 am
Room: Crystal

ABSTRACT

Many diversity frameworks focus on vague notions of culture (like cultural competence) or detour around inequity. The equity literacy framework helps us maximize integrity of equity initiatives by avoiding detours. Based on the idea that there is no path to equity that does not involve a direct confrontation with inequity, it cultivates in educators the ability to be threats to inequity. In this workshop I introduce equity literacy and how it helps us focus on rooting injustices out of schools.

PRESENTER(s)

pgorskiPresenter 1

Paul Gorski
Founder
Equity Literacy Institute

Biography: Paul Gorski has spent the past 20 years working with educators and schools to prioritize equity in every dimension of education. He is the founder of EdChange and the Equity Literacy Institute and author, editor, or co-editor of 10 books including Reaching and Teaching Poverty: Strategies for Erasing the Opportunity Gap and Case Studies on Diversity and Social Justice Education (with Seema Pothini). Gorski is the co-architect (with Katy Swalwell) of the equity literacy framework, a school change and professional development approach designed to cultivate educators who are a threat to the existence of inequity in their spheres of influence. His website for educators, the Multicultural Pavilion, attracts close to 1 million visitors per year. Gorski lives in Arlington, Virginia, with his cat Buster.

Social Media: (LinkedIN)(Twitter)(Facebook)

DESCRIPTION

Many popular frameworks for attending to diversity in schools are built around vague notions of culture (such as cultural competence) or around concepts that detour around equity. The equity literacy framework was constructed to help educators and school systems maximize the integrity of equity initiatives by avoiding these sorts of detours, like all of the rehashings of the bootstrap mentality that have made their way into educational “equity” conversations: grit and growth mindset, for example.

The equity literacy framework is based on several principles crafted to keep educators focused on real equity work. For example, it is based on the principle that there is no path to equity that does not involve a direct confrontation with inequity. It is also based on the principle that equity initiatives should never focus on fixing marginalized people. Rather, they should focus on fixing the conditions that marginalize people. By keeping these ideological principles front and center, equity literacy is designed to cultivate educators who have the knowledge and skills to be a threat to inequity in their spheres of influence.

In this workshop I introduce the principles of equity literacy, concepts that can help deepen educators’ equity literacy, and five guiding questions to help us assess the transformative nature (or lack thereof) of our equity initiatives. I use examples related to race, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, (dis)ability, and other equity concerns.

In response to the questions posed in the call for proposals:

1. I have spent the past 20 years working with educators all over the US on these issues as well as working directly with school systems intent on deepening their equity work. I have presented previous versions of this work at the Summit (under its previous name) in the past.
2. The equity literacy framework was constructed out of several decades of research on best practices related to equity and equity-based leadership in schools. In some way it is an ideological framework, but it is also very practical—for example, we will talk about strategies for helping educators cultivate the ability to recognize subtle inequity or spot policies that humiliate students unintentionally.
3. Participants will engage in several brief activities applying equity literacy skills to their own educational contexts. For example, they will engage in small group discussion about examples of deficit views in their organizations’ policies.
4. Participants will receive several handouts and short magazine-length articles about equity literacy.
5. The whole workshop is built around presenting framing ideas then strategies related to those ideas. Again, they will address students of color, students with (dis)abilities, and a variety of other groups.

Change through Dialog: Working Together to Improve Education and Employment Outcomes for Deaf Individuals

button-download-workshop-filesStrand: Best practices for equitable learning environments
Time: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 from 9:15 – 10:30 am
Room: Richmond

ABSTRACT

The National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes (NDC) will share how we use data-informed root causes to (a) promote evidence-based strategies and (b) foster supportive relationships with local communities, both in an effort to improve educational and employment outcomes for a diverse deaf population. NDC will share examples of evidence-based practices, resources, and activities through this OSEP-funded technical assistance center.

 

PRESENTER(s)

scawthonPresenter 1

Stephanie Cawthon, Ph.D.
Director
National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes

Biography: Dr. Stephanie W. Cawthon is the Director of the National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes, OSEP-funded Technical Assistance and Dissemination project that promotes positive postsecondary outcomes for deaf individuals. She is an Associate Professor in Educational Psychology Department at the University of Texas at Austin with a long history of scholarship in issues related to accessibility and equality for deaf individuals in education and employment.

Social Media: (Twitter)(Facebook)

cgarberoglioPresenter 2

Carrie Lou Garberoglio, Ph.D.
Associate Director
National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes

Biography: Dr. Carrie Lou Garberoglio is an educational researcher and evaluator affiliated with the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk at the University of Texas at Austin, and Associate Director of the National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes. She also teaches research methods and statistics coursework at the University of Northern Colorado. Carrie Lou obtained her PhD in Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin.

Social Media: (Twitter)(Facebook)

DESCRIPTION

Access to equitable education is important for the development of youth today, yet there is evidence of significant gaps in educational attainment across diverse and marginalized groups. While students with disabilities are afforded access a ‘Free Appropriate Public Education” under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, educational opportunities presented may not be equitable to those of their non-disabled peers. This is gap evident in the national numbers representing postsecondary outcomes of deaf students, the focus of this presentation. Even though deaf students are graduating high school at record levels, yet statistics unveil significant gaps in their secondary and postsecondary attainment. The gap in high school completion rate across the U.S. is 6% between deaf (83%) and hearing (89%) students. The bachelors’ degree attainment gap between deaf (18%) and hearing (33%) individuals is 15%. Furthermore, educational attainment gaps increase to as high as 22% for marginalized populations, individuals from different ethnic or racial groups, or those who are deafdisabled.
Education is the gateway to employment and social mobility. Yet, despite the promising trends in postsecondary attainment and improvements in legal policies regarding access, the employment gap between deaf and hearing people is of significant concern. For example, employment rates for deaf adults overall; is just 48% compared with 72% for their hearing peers, a gap of 24%, with the majority of this gap attributed to differences in the percentage of individuals who are no longer in the labor force (vs. actively searching for a job). The above gaps in education are important because there is a direct correlation between employment rates of deaf individuals and level of education attainment.

The mission of the National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes (NDC) is to provide support that closes these education and employment gaps. While a focus on outcomes is useful, it does not deepen our understanding of the factors and conditions that lead to these results. Deaf students face many barriers and challenges as they move from high school into college, training programs, and the workplace. NDC conducted a root cause analysis of existing literature to identify underlying causes that affect deaf individuals’ levels of postsecondary education and employment attainment. Root causes identified including (a) limited access to language and communication, (b) reduced social opportunities, (c) negative attitudes and biases, and (d) lack of qualified and experienced professionals. There is no simple solution to these challenges, but we know that one thing is true: We must all work together to make sure that deaf students are ready to take advantage of the opportunities that are available to them.

Current Data.

A review of current data on postsecondary outcomes for deaf individuals calls to question the level of equitable opportunities and variability across the nation. Available data shows that for those of us who share the goal of increasing postsecondary success in deaf communities, there are some areas of optimism, yet also some areas of concern. The implications of the education gaps described above are significant. Compared to deaf individuals without a college degree, deaf college graduates have greater career mobility, enhanced earnings, and an increased likelihood of stable employment. Deaf individuals who have not completed postsecondary education are at risk for underemployment and unemployment, and they are also more likely to have shorter job tenure. Within the deaf population, current data reveal significant gaps in postsecondary outcomes for deaf people of color and deaf people with additional disabilities, which is crucial for the field to consider. There is also significant variation in postsecondary outcomes for deaf individuals across states. This presentation will include a series of multimedia resources that make complex data accessible for a variety of audiences. These will be shared to encourage further conversations about how this information can guide practice and policy decisions.

Root Causes.

Shifting the focus from the symptoms of the problem but rather to the underlying causes of issues is critical to moving the needle towards improvement. NDC conducted a root cause analysis of existing literature to identify factors impacting education and employment outcomes. This root cause analysis is important in working towards solutions because it shifts the focus to uncovering and addressing causes of conditions not just the symptoms (Bagian et al., 2002; Wilson et al., 1993).

Evidence Based Strategies.

Drawing from this understanding of the root causes of challenges to deaf individuals’ postsecondary attainment, NDC identified practices that can mitigate the impact of root causes and associated negative outcomes. NDC focuses on the following five key impact areas: Designing Accessible Environments, Promoting High Expectations for Success, Collecting and Using Data for Decision-Making, Leveraging Community Resources, and Developing Collaborative and Integrated Systems. The National Deaf Center provides technical assistance to stakeholders on how to implement evidence based strategies that support deaf students in postsecondary education and training settings.

Implementation of these practices requires a shared vision and collaboration between all members of the system, including community organizations, institutions, and state and federal level agencies. This systems based approach can result in an increased capacity to implement evidence-based practices and strategies, and, when accompanied by an improvement approach to systems change, increase the body of knowledge on how these strategies result in positive outcomes for deaf individuals. This section of the presentation will also include specific examples of how these strategies for success have been implemented for diverse deaf populations.

Dialog.

NDC recognized the path to improved outcomes also includes actively involving the communities surrounding youth today. One of our goals is to build models of community networks to leverage social capital available at the local level with community clusters. This is an opportunity for families, in particular, to strategize and problem solve issues within their lived context. These networks will have a special emphasis on strategies to support positive outcomes for individuals underserved in the deaf population, including those who are not college bound and recent immigrants to the United States. This model responds to the need for active capacity building at the local level to both identify promising practices and to deliver evidence-based intervention. Taken in conjunction with the strong social media and outreach approach to sharing information, the community cluster model invites community members into the process of identifying critical needs and potential solutions, thus increasing buy-in and the chance for successful impact on postsecondary outcomes.

Drawing from the community conversation model based at the Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at Vanderbilt University, NDC will model how “community asset-mapping” is used to identify the existing resources, opportunities, and organizations in a community and then addresses barriers to reaching target constituents. Community conversations are effective because they are focused opportunities for dialogue around concrete issues (Campbell et al., 2013). Beyond the purpose of focus groups, community conversations raise participants’ expectations about what is possible and encourage participants to work toward formulating solutions to problems. This model can be replicated by participants in their own contexts.

Through strategic, innovative, research-based technical assistance on national, state, and local level NDC seeks to transform systems and increase the postsecondary enrollment, persistence, and completion rates for a diverse deaf population. Yet, we recognize no one entity can provide the range of expertise required for transformational change across all levels of the system.

We believe that change can only happen if everyone is involved. Participants at the National Summit for Educational Equity are have a shared vision for educational opportunities for all communities. This is an opportunity for NDC contribute to capacity building, knowledge, and skills of participants in order to actively contribute to transforming education for deaf students or other marginalized populations. While the focus of this session is on deaf individuals, participants interested in this session will gain insight and strategies for reaching other low-incidence, culturally diverse, or underserved populations. The strategies we propose – data use, evidence-based strategies, and inclusive dialog – are effective across a wide range of contexts and diverse populations. Deaf individuals are not alone in facing systemic barriers in education and employment, the evidence-based strategies and practices can create opportunities for improved postsecondary outcomes for any population.