Charting the Path to Equity: A Leader’s Role

button-download-workshop-files Strand: Equitable leadership practices
Time: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 from 10:45 – 12:00 pm
Room: Roanoke


With managing daily operational tasks, it’s easy to forget the greater purpose of the work of administrators. The opportunities we provide adult learners has the potential to level the playing field for those students most in need. This is only true to the extent that leaders are ensuring that students have equitable access to educational opportunities that can transform their lives. In this session, participants will reflect the role of leaders for equity and learn strategies for equity.


cmoorePresenter 1

Cherise Moore, Ph.D.
Senior Research
American Institutes for Research

Biography: Cherise Moore, Ph.D., is a senior researcher at AIR, leading several national and state-level projects on adult learning and career pathways. She provides leadership on career preparation, representing AIR in the field with CTE and career pathways educators and industry stakeholders. Dr. Moore is the deputy director for the Nevada Adult Education and Family Literacy Act Leadership Professional Training Project and is the CALPRO project lead on work related to administrative leadership development. For OCTAE, Dr. Moore recently led the development of online training modules for educators, including a module entitled Preparing English Learners for Work and Career Pathways. Prior to AIR, she served as an administrator in adult and CTE. She holds a Ph.D. in Public Administration and her M.A. in Educational Administration and Leadership from Arizona State University. She also has a M.A. in Urban Planning and her B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Educational leaders have great demands on their time. With managing daily operational, logistical and compliance tasks it is often easy to forget the greater purpose of the work we do. The educational opportunities we provide to adults has the potential to level the playing field for those most in need. But this is only true to the extent that we as leaders are charting the path to equity by ensuring that all our students have equitable access to the type of education that can transform their lives. In this session, participants will reflect on your role as leaders for equity and will learn strategies for forging ahead in this purpose using the research of Ross and Berger (2009) as a foundation. Participants will earn about the four strategies to enhance equity in schools. Through engaging activities, participants will also learn how others’ are able to focus on always doing what is best for and on how to best serve our students through an equity lens.

1) Have firsthand experience with their topic and understand their audience;

I have presented multiple sessions related to adult education, administrative leadership, equity, career pathways and CTE for national, state and local conferences and trainings. I have over 20 years in the field in adult, secondary and post-secondary education, having served as a teacher, school administrator and district level administrator within both urban and suburban public school districts.
I have six years of AIR experience, leading work on projects that improve outcomes for adult learners and underrepresented populations. I am also a current union high school district school board member in a district with six comprehensive high schools, six junior high schools, an alternative school and an adult school, with nearly 25,000 students.

2) Provide timely and relevant information that can be put into immediate use;

This presentation contains current and relevant statistics and demographic information on poverty. This data speaks to the need of serving those adult learners most in need through a focus on equity to move people out of poverty. Participants will be asked to think deeply about what this data means in connection to the mission of their work and to share those thoughts in pairs or small groups. Participants will also be provided with resources and tools to help them consider the application of the information shared within their current work environment.

3) Engage participants in an activity or hands-on learning;

Participants will use tools and handouts designed to engage them in application and reflection activities geared toward acting on the content shared during the presentation. This will happen through think-pair-share and small group exercises. The session will end with a call-to-action for participants to act and reflect immediately using what they have learned as tools for implementing change and/or reminding them of their greater purpose as an educational leader.

4) Provide clear and useful handouts for workshop attendees; and

Practical handouts will be shared that will provide opportunities to apply the content delivered to real situations during the session. The handouts will also be useful tools that can be used to replicate the activities for learning during the session back within their work environment.

5) Present effective strategies focused on one or more special populations or other underrepresented groups.

The presentation will engage participants in a discussion of existing challenges for adult learners and build on opportunities to transform their lives through addressing their education and support needs through a focus on equity and access in all decisions.

Ross, J.A., and Berger, M.J. (2009) Equity and leadership: Research-based strategies for school leaders. School Leadership and Management.

Youth Apprenticeship and the Equity Imperative

button-download-workshop-files Strand: Building a diverse workforce
Time: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 from 1:45 – 3:00 pm
Room: Roanoke


Youth apprenticeship is increasingly lauded as a debt-free path to higher education and high-wage jobs, particularly for students disproportionately barred from those opportunities. The burgeoning national landscape of programs provide little consensus on who youth apprenticeship is for. Can youth apprenticeship and similar approaches be paths to equity, or will they become the newest iteration of high school tracking? Join us for a presentation followed by small-group discussions.


aswisherPresenter 1

Abigail Swisher
Program Associate
New America

Biography: Abigail Swisher is a former public school STEM educator, and currently works for New America’s Education Policy Program, where she studies equitable and effective strategies for guaranteeing all students graduate from K-12 schools prepared for college and career.

bpartonPresenter 2

Brent Parton
Deputy Director, Center on Education and Skills
New America

Biography: Brent Parton is Deputy Director of New America’s Center on Education and Skills; prior to joining New America, Parton served at the United States Department of Labor as an advisor to the Secretary, and oversaw the design of a historic federal investment in apprenticeship expansion through states, communities, and industry organizations.

Presenter 3

Elena Silva, Ph.D.
Director, PreK-12 Education
New America

Biography: Elena Silva is the Director of PreK-12 Education within the Education Policy Program at New America, and also serves on the board of the NAPE Foundation.


Youth apprenticeship is increasingly cited as a way provide a debt-free path to higher education and high-wage jobs, particularly for students disproportionately barred from those opportunities. Yet the average apprentices in the United States is disproportionately white, male, and far older than the average age of a ‘youth’ apprentice.The burgeoning national landscape of youth apprenticeship programs provides little consensus on who youth apprenticeship is for. Can youth apprenticeship be a path to greater equity, or will it become the newest iteration of high school tracking? New America has embarked upon a year-long research and listening project on issues of equity in youth apprenticeship to answer these and other important questions.
We will begin with a presentation that answers basic questions about what youth apprenticeship is, and how it is growing nationally. Our team will then present the results of a literature review which utilizes history and lessons from comparable workforce development strategies (such as adult apprenticeships or high school career academies) to frame where the charge to ensure equity in similarly programs has flourished or failed in the past. Participants will be provided a copy of New America’s literature review.
In the second half of the discussion, we will facilitate small-group discussions with session participants on the promise and pitfalls of expanding youth apprenticeship in today’s K-12 landscape. Participants will have an opportunity to engage in the early stages of this work and provide input into our future outreach efforts. These groups will be facilitated by our presenters, who will also provide a written discussion guide with room for notes. Given the emergent nature of this topic area, presenters will provide context and the opportunity for sharing among participants, but not necessarily advocate a single set of strategies or best practices.
The session will be presented and facilitated by a team of policy experts from New America. Brent Parton is Deputy Director of New America’s Center on Education and Skills; prior to joining New America, Parton served at the United States Department of Labor as an advisor to the Secretary, and oversaw the design of a historic federal investment in apprenticeship expansion through states, communities, and industry organizations. Elena Silva is the Director of PreK-12 Education within the Education Policy Program at New America, and also serves on the board of the NAPE Foundation. Abigail Swisher is a former public school STEM educator, and currently works for New America’s Education Policy Program, where she studies equitable and effective strategies for guaranteeing all students graduate from K-12 schools prepared for college and career.

“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


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.


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)


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.

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.

Good Intentions and the Unintended Consequences: What Classroom Equity Mapping Revealed about Teacher-Student Interactions and Teacher Beliefs at One Middle School.

button-download-workshop-files Strand: Best practices for equitable learning environments
Time: Thursday, April 19, 2018 from 8:15 – 9:30 am
Room: Roanoke


Share in my journey of practice and discovery as a maiden participant in NAPE’s Certified Educational Equity Coach (CEEC) program. Participants will learn about the program as well as innovative and practical strategies to support equity coaching in their classroom, campus, or district. See how GoPros and classroom equity mapping revealed beliefs and biases that sheltered some students from the learning process, and how equity action plans can guide instructors to more equitable practices.


Presenter 1

Christopher Martell
Innovation & Design Specialist
Austin Independent School District

Biography: Christopher Martell is a career science educator and a burgeoning proponent for equity. He is a graduate of the UTeach program at the University of Texas Austin and a current graduate student at Texas State University studying educational leadership and social justice. He is a former middle school science teacher and is now the Innovation & Design Specialist for the Austin Independent School District in Austin, TX. In his current role, Christopher is able to investigate, implement, and participate in innovative programs that support teachers and students. He is thrilled to be part of NAPE’s Certified Educational Equity Coach pilot program and continues to seek out opportunities to acquire, develop, and practice new knowledge and skills as well as reflect on his own practices, biases, and culture. He credits his family, Star Trek, and LEGOs for much of his passion and creativity.

Social Media: (LinkedIN)


For this presentation, I will share out my experiences as a pilot participant in NAPE’s Certified Educational Equity Coach (CEEC) program in Austin, Texas. The goal is to provide my audience with practical strategies to support equity coaching while also providing a brief overview of the CEEC program. The session will be grounded in current research and framed within the NAPE Culture Wheel, which precisely models how educator beliefs can impact student learning.

Participants can expect a short overview of the CEEC program, its requirements, and how I approached it. I will specifically focus on my experience coaching teachers at an Austin-area middle school with a roughly split population of Hispanic and White students. I will describe and model a coaching cycle (adopted from Glickman (2009)) that includes a pre-conference, classroom observation, post-conference, formative check-ins, and a summative evaluation. Participants will be able to view and interact with real classroom data, including first and third person videos collected using GoPros as well as classroom equity heat maps that allow for quick visual interpretation of classroom observation data. Using these resources, participants will discuss and develop their own equity action plan (EAP), which we will compare to one generated by myself and a teacher. Finally, we will hear from one teacher – and possibly one student – who will describe their experience as a participant in this project.

By the end of the workshops, participants will hopefully discover how beliefs and assumptions about a group of students can foster an inequitable learning environment, but more importantly how coaching and thoughtful data presentation can generate needed awareness of inequities and ultimately lead to better instruction. Time permitting, I will also share some of my work designing and hosting an equity PLC with science and social studies teachers.

The Minority Male Initiative: From Injustice to Equity

button-download-workshop-filesStrand: Equitable leadership practices
Time: Thursday, April 19, 2018 from 9:45 – 11:00 am
Room: Roanoke


Our instincts and experience informed us, our data and research confirmed it. Minority male students were simply not achieving on par with all other students. This was not acceptable. Like other colleagues at other colleges, where and how do we start? We began by listening to our students’ voices – using Appreciative Inquiry. They trusted us to tell their stories – about abandonment, bonding dysfunction, their personal experiences with multitudes of life setbacks.


elaraPresenter 1

Eric Lara, Ed.D.
Associate Dean, Student Success and Equity
Mt. San Antionio Community College

Biography: Dr. Eric Lara is the Associate Dean, Student Success and Equity at Mt. San Antonio Community College. Dr. Lara oversees all Student Equity funding on campus, the four equity programs: ARISE, ASPIRE, Dream and REACH, and serves as the co-chair for the Student Equity Committee.

His professional experience spans over ten years and three levels of the California Higher Educational system. Eric has worked as the Director of the Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) program at College of the Canyons, as the Director of Student Affairs in Electrical Engineering at UC San Diego, and as the Retention Coordinator and Academic Advisor for the Maximizing Engineering Potential (MEP) Program at Cal Poly Pomona.

Dr. Lara holds a Doctorate in Education with an emphasis in Higher Educational Leadership from the University of Southern California, as well as a Master’s in Education and Bachelor’s in Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology, both from Cal Poly Pomona.

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

msampatPresenter 2

Michelle Sampat, J.D.
Associate Dean of Instruction
Mt. San Antonio Community College

Biography: Michelle Sampat is Associate Dean of Instruction at Mt. San Antonio College. She was a K-6 teacher for 9 years and a Professor of Reading at Mt. SAC for 16 years. Michelle’s focus in education has been equity-driven.
Michelle holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pomona College in Claremont, CA, a master’s degree in education from the Claremont Graduate University, and a juris doctorate from Whittier Law School.
Michelle served as senate secretary, legislative liaison, and curriculum chair at Mt. SAC. She was on the Foundation Board for the Academic Senate of the California Community Colleges and on the state ASCCC Curriculum and Standards and Practices Committees. She co-chairs the Institutional
Effectiveness Committee, the Guided Pathways Workgroup, and the Curriculum and Instruction Council. She serves on the Faculty Professional Development and Management Steering Committees as well as the Equity Committee and promotes Mt. SAC’s instruction-lead equity initiatives.

Social Media: (Facebook)


The goal of this session is to share the experiences, insights, and effective practices gained in the establishment of the Mt. San Antonio College Minority Male Initiative. With the support of management, faculty, and support staff, MMI aspires to develop exceptional intervention practices for minority male students. Our presentation is based on the fact that, despite all that we have read and studied, there wasn’t a clear roadmap on developing specific interventions for minority males in community college. Serving as an open entry institution, our students come to us with different levels of college preparedness. Therefore, a comprehensive approach is needed to have candid conversations about challenging issues and foster an environment where we can learn from each other, with the end result increased access, equity, inclusion and success for minority males.
The Minority Male Initiative (MMI) is not a self-contained program. Rather, it is an “initiative” in the sense that it is organic and dynamic – constantly under development and making additions and adjustments to improve our reach and our outcomes. It includes both direct services and interventions to students as well as an action plan that incorporates campus-wide approaches to improving student success. Through a network of strategies, the College is addressing student equity, access, success and social mobility.
Through our efforts in addressing student equity, our Institutional Research department confirmed that our African American, Latino, Pacific Islander, and other minority male students are not graduating and transferring at the same rates as the average Mt. SAC student. While we also noticed similar statistics with females of the same ethnic groups, minority males, most specifically, African American, Latino and Pacific Islander male students are not accessing services, are not progressing in mathematics, and are not persisting. Focus groups with members of these impacted student groups found two salient factors: (1) that it wasn’t that they were too proud to ask for help; they simply believed that they should figure things out on their own, and make it work for themselves – by themselves. (2) When they did ask for help, the response from staff and faculty was either insensitive or they were unable to phrase their needs correctly. With these insights, we further pursued initiatives and interventions, articulated by our own students that would be pertinent to addressing their needs.
Our research has found that:
• African American and Latino males are far below equity in Transfer
• African American, Latino, and Pacific Islander males are below equity in
o Access
o English writing and math completion
o Certificate and degree completion
• Foster Youth, AB 540/Dream, and disabled students are far below equity in
o Course and ESL completion
o Certificate and degree completion
o Transfer

Our desire was to create a model of holistic development. Our students’ lives are so complex and their issues and concerns extend well beyond the classroom. Research from the Community College Research Center advised that “Colleges can better serve men of color by implementing effective practices for all students, while also emphasizing campus diversity, cultural competence, and other strategies for reducing stereotype threat.” The College’s student equity and student success focus is to look at deep, systemic changes that will enhance success and close equity gaps across the campus for all groups. Additionally, particular attention must be paid to specific groups of students who are most negatively impacted. To that extent, Mt. San Antonio College has developed an initiative to focus on the improvement of minority male student success, knowing that this improvement will move the needle for the entire campus.

The Components of MMI
• Student Development
o Leadership Retreats: There have been three, highly successful MMI student leadership retreats comprised of minority male students who have been nominated from equity programs (EOPS, Aspire/Umoja, Arise/AANAPISI, Dream, Bridge, ACES/TRiO, DSPS, REACH/Foster Youth). With the theme “I Can, I Will,” training topics have included: Imposter Syndrome, Locus of Control, Social Capital, Stereotype Threat, Code Switching, Emotional Intelligence. Results show:
o Cultural Capital: Students have participated in field trips to movies and theatrical productions to expose them to issues as well as the arts. Movies include: Spare Parts, They Call Me Malala, Hidden Figures, Moana. Theatrical productions include: Wicked, Motown, Hamilton.

• Success Intervention Plan: At each leadership retreat and at subsequent meetings on campus, students have developed particular interventions they believe will enable the college to improve success rates, especially with minority male students. These interventions have resulted in the development of an overall MMI Success Intervention Plan.
o Student Ambassadors: In order to reach students like themselves (first generation, low income, foster youth, formerly incarcerated, disabled, male of color) the students developed a Student Ambassador program. Student ambassadors are stationed at key locations on campus to provide direct inreach services to students on campus and conduct information sessions for new students.

o Monthly Mentoring Meetings, Fale Fono, Indaba: Monthly meetings are held in which mentors help to lead guided discussions with students on topics ranging from time management, communication skills, money management, stress management, career planning. The Fale Fono and Indaba are culturally-based, safe spaces where students share and discuss cultural identity, personal development, and life challenges.

• Academic Support: MMI students have articulated the need for academic support. However, they do not talk about “tutoring”. Rather, they ask for more opportunities and spaces for “group study.” They desire to be with others like them and to be in a supportive environment where they are comfortable attending, yet have access to resources (tutors). Based on both research, as well as our students’ own expressions of concern, increased emphasis on math success has been a critical development.

o Math Boot Camp: students enroll in a 6-8 week program in which they use the ALEKS online program to review math and learn new concepts to prepare both for placement testing as well as for enrollment in math classes.
o Math Success Lab: a safe space for students to go and study and review math has been developed. Tutors in the classroom/supplemental instruction tutors are available to review lessons and assist students as necessary. Students have the ability to use the ALEKS software to enhance their learning and preparation for enrollment in math. Study spaces, computers, and tutors are available. The space differs from the college’s math tutoring center in that students are encouraged to form study groups in their classes and meet in the lab where they can study together as well as receive direct assistance as necessary. MMI students have articulated the need to be able to go to safe spaces where they can study with individuals like them.

• Career Development
o SSEED – Student Success through Educational and Employment Development was developed to provide low income students, especially those who have few to no job skills, with opportunities to learn job skills and earn money. Jobs on campus enable students to interact with college staff who acknowledge them as students and provide a critical source of support by demonstrating interest in their roles as students. Students who are encouraged, and supported, to learn job skills and soft skills while earning a paycheck tend to attend class more regularly and have higher pass rates. Outcome data regarding SSSEED has shown that students with multiple disadvantages have had outstanding success.

• Research
o Student to student surveys – Student ambassadors survey students on campus regarding services provided, services needed, suggestions for improvement. This information is included in planning and evaluation of Student Services, accreditation, and annual program reviews.
o Student focus groups—Students have been posed specific questions to enable college staff/faculty/administrators to better understand and work collaboratively with students to better meet their needs. Students responded to prompts such as: What are the barriers/road blocks you faced? What does Mt. SAC need to do?

Impact the Program Is Having – Testimonials
There are many ways to measure the impact of a particular program or initiative. We are meeting our goals, continuing our work, and monitoring our progress. Students are becoming self-actualized and in turn are impacting others. Thus, the efforts of MMI on a concentrated core is having an increasing impact across the entire campus. We continue to listen to our students’ voices and use their words to be our compass. Their testimonials demonstrate the impact the program is having and how we are meeting our goals.
• It’s a game – and Mt. SAC teaches you how to play the game.
• “Closed mouths don’t get fed.” My first year here, I kept my mouth closed … but I got hungry.
• Be the individual you needed when you were younger.
• The humiliation I go through when I think of my past is grace.
• Your stories of success drive me.
• I’m not where I want to be yet, but thank God I’m not where I was before.

Learning Outcomes
1) Participants will have an increased awareness and insight in approaching minority male initiatives on their campuses.
2) Participants will learn of specific initiatives based on students’ voices that can be implemented on their campuses.
3) Participants will be more knowledgeable about the challenges associated with improving success rates for African-American, Latino, and Pacific Islander male college students.