Diablo Valley College Named State’s 2021 Equity Champion of Higher Education

Diablo Valley College Named State’s 2021 Equity Champion of Higher Education

Daphne Mullen, Staff

Last month, Diablo Valley College received the 2021 Equity Champion of Higher Education Award for its achievements awarding high numbers of Black and Latinx students with Associate Degrees for Transfer (ADT).

On Tuesday, Nov. 16 at 10 a.m. on Zoom, DVC’s achievement will be recognized at the Champions of Higher Education Celebration. The virtual event will host hundreds of attendees representing California’s higher education leadership, including elected officials, corporate sponsors, and civic and business leaders.

State Assemblyman Marc Berman, representing the 24th district in the San Francisco/Silicon Valley Peninsula region, will join the event along with student leaders and other honorees. The Campaign for College Opportunity already publicly announced all California Community College and California State University honorees on Nov. 1.

According to the Fall 2021 ADT Equity Champions Methodology Report, DVC ranked third among California Community Colleges that distribute equitable ADT implementation for Black students. Santa Monica College in southern California and Fresno City College were close runners-up for the award.

The Associate Degree for Transfer grants students a pathway between the state’s community colleges and the CSU system. In practical terms, it helps manifest college dreams into a reality for thousands of students attending community college.

ADT transfers obtain their bachelor’s degree twice as fast as traditional transfer students who enroll in the CSU system, as stated in the Methodology Report.

The percentage point gap (PPG), the key component in determining the award, recognizes campuses that go above and beyond basic efforts to ensure that ADTs are awarded to Black and Latinx students. The PPG shows when campuses are intentionally making sure that Latinx and Black transfer students have equal opportunities to earn an ADT.

The PPG is calculated based on a comparison (per California community college) between the share of all students who earned ADTs versus the share of Black and Latinx students who earned ADTs. The Equity Champion of Higher Education award is based on both the number of ADTs awarded currently, and the growth in ADTs awarded from the previous year.

To receive the award, colleges must have a negative PPG rate for Black and Latinx Students – meaning that Black and Latinx graduates are earning ADTs at higher rates than the college-wide average.

This year, Diablo Valley College leads all California Community Colleges in guaranteeing that a -3.4 percent of Black students and -6 percent of Latinx students with a transfer or degree goal acquired an ADT.

DVC President Susan Lamb wrote, in a recent email to college faculty, “Across all California Community Colleges, our campus ensured that a high proportion of degree or transfer seeking Black and Latinx students received an ADT in the 2019-2020 academic year.”

“This is a tremendous achievement and the real work of equity that every member of our college community has helped to achieve,” Lamb stated.

California Community Colleges have distributed more than 359,000 Associate Degrees for Transfer since the passage of SB 1440 in 2010, which created a transfer pathway for CCC students. The legislation was supported by The Campaign for College Opportunity, a non-profit organization that fights to create a clearer pathway for students attending community colleges who wish to transfer and earn a bachelor’s degree.

The recent passage of AB 928 last month will substantially shorten the time it takes to transfer and attain a degree, speeding up the process further.

People interested in attending DVC’s Equity Champion of Higher Education award ceremony on Nov. 16 can join by registering with this link.