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Strategic Plan to Ensure Racial and Ethnic Diversity
  In Connecticut Public Higher Education - April 2, 1998

Report of the Public Agenda Advisory Council

Office of Educational Opportunity
Arthur Poole
Senior Associate


SECTION A: ACHIEVING STUDENT DIVERSITY - PART I

Historical Perspective and Program Goal

The Board of Governors for Higher Education orchestrated the statutory institutionalization of its policy statement, the Strategic Plan to Ensure Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Connecticut Public Higher Education in March of 1983. The Board’s diversity plan placed a fundamental emphasis upon developmental approaches to address the underdevelopment of minority students for academic success at the college level. To that end, the state legislature subsequently incorporated the Connecticut Collegiate Awareness and Preparation (ConnCAP) Program as an element of the Minority Advancement Program – the statutory component affording the Board the opportunity to design and implement programmatic initiatives to advance achievement of the Strategic Plan’s goals. (See the Connecticut General Statutes - Sections 10a-10 and 10a-11.)

The 1995-96 fiscal year marked the tenth year of the Board’s programmatic initiatives. At that time the Board directed its administrative arm – the Department of Higher Education (DHE) – to undertake an extensive review of the Board’s diversity policy and programming to ascertain whether or not a greater level of clarity, more effective use of limited resources and greater goal attainment could be achieved. Subsequently, the policy statement was reconstructed as the Strategic Plan to Ensure Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Connecticut Public Higher Education: A Revised Statement of Policy. Additionally, the Board adopted new program guidelines for its programmatic initiatives in December of 1996. While acknowledging significant progress in diversifying the state’s public colleges and universities, the new documents were developed to (1) accelerate the pace of institutional progress and (2) expand the scope of programmatic impact.

The new ConnCAP Program Guidelines launched a five-year (from July 1997-June 1998 to July 2001-June 2002) funding period of ConnCAP programs. It was constructed to serve as a managerial tool to broaden the force of the program’s impact, qualitatively as well as quantitatively. The guidelines added a third organizational goal to the program’s purpose. In its totality, the ConnCAP statement of purpose is as follows:

The purpose of the Connecticut Collegiate Awareness and Preparation (ConnCAP) Program is to support efforts by state institutions of higher education to develop linkages with public school districts targeted by the Connecticut Board of Governors for Higher Education. The ultimate purpose of such linkages is to provide motivation and cognitive skill development for middle school or high school underachievers.

Inherent in this purpose are the following programmatic goals:

  1. Generate in eligible program participants the skills and motivation necessary to complete a program of secondary education.
  2. Generate in eligible program participants the skills and motivation necessary to enter and succeed in a program of post-secondary education.
  3. Expand the capacity of a ConnCAP collaborative, its partner organizations and other stakeholders in the target area to promote the growth and development of target area youth, especially their cognitive and affective preparation for the successful attainment of higher education.

ConnCAP collaboratives are to build upon the experiences and expertise of ConnCAP programs and the institutions responsible for their administration in assisting school districts and local communities to more adequately address the obstacles to productive lives confronting today’s children and youth. Through the establishment of ConnCAP collaboratives, ConnCAP programs will expand their impact beyond their service populations. As it is succinctly stated in the ConnCAP Program Guidelines:

Essentially, a ConnCAP collaborative adopts the perspective that the future success of children is dependent upon the active involvement of parents and a caring community. Meaningful parent and community engagement, sustained over time, provides the developmental and educational prerequisites for positive life outcomes for all children.

Moreover, as a managerial instrument, the new ConnCAP Program Guidelines serve as an ever-evolving instructive tool for the various ConnCAP program administrators. In addition to bringing about greater clarity and understanding of the Board of Governors’ intentions, the Program Guidelines place a particular stress upon strategic program management. In some instances, the guidelines identify effective strategies for problem solving or goal attainment. In other instances, strategies are prescribed. The development and implementation of an internal program evaluation plan is also strongly encouraged by the guideline. The preferred structure for an evaluation plan provides feedback to a developmental process for program modification and improvement. Additionally, DHE’s Office of Educational Opportunity, decreed by the legislature to assist the Board with its diversity policy and programs, utilize other managerial instruments, technical assistance, reporting procedures and other managerial oversight to support an even greater level of goal attainment by the institutions administering ConnCAP programs.

In addition to being underachievers, eligible ConnCAP students are from low-income families and/or households where neither parent has acquired a bachelor’s degree. See Table 1.1 and Table 1.2 for descriptions of student participants during ConnCAP’s 1997-98 program year.

TABLE 1.1
ConnCAP STUDENT ENROLLMENT
1997-98
RACIAL/ETHNIC
GROUP & GENDER
LOW
INCOME
FIRST
GENERATION
BOTH TOTAL
African American
Male 24 30 644 698
Female 38 30 780 848
Subtotal 62 60 1424 1546
Hispanic/Latino
Male 11 17 258 286
Female 5 27 294 326
Subtotal 16 44 552 612
White Americans & Others
Male 9 29 241 279
Female 8 23 232 263
Subtotal 17 52 473 542
Asian American
Male 3 3 49 55
Female 2 9 31 42
Subtotal 5 12 80 97
Native American
Male 0 1 0 1
Female 0 1 0 1
Subtotal 0 2 0 2
TOTAL
Male 47 80 1192 1319
Female 53 90 1337 1480
GRAND TOTAL 100 170 2529 2799

NOTE: A total of 19 students did not meet either eligibility requirement.

 

TABLE 1.2
ConnCAP STUDENT ENROLLMENT
1997-98
(by racial/ethnic group, gender and grade level)
RACIAL/ETHNIC GROUP Sixth Seventh Eighth Ninth Tenth Eleventh Twelfth TOTAL
African American
Male 99 123 182 89 117 41 56 707
Female 116 117 250 111 149 51 54 848
Subtotal 215 240 432 200 266 92 110 1555
Hispanic/Latino
Male 31 100 58 27 38 22 12 288
Female 30 92 82 33 30 32 25 324
Subtotal 61 192 140 60 68 54 37 612
White American & Others
Male 46 95 78 19 20 13 10 281
Female 44 93 79 14 20 13 7 270
Subtotal 90 188 157 33 40 26 17 551
Asian American
Male 11 11 8 5 7 5 7 54
Female 4 9 8 4 8 3 7 43
Subtotal 15 20 16 9 15 8 14 97
Native American
Male 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1
Female 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2
Subtotal 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 3
GRAND TOTAL
Male 187 329 326 140 182 82 85 1331
Female 194 311 421 162 207 99 93 1487
TOTAL 381 640 747 302 389 181 178 2818

The Board’s ConnCAP programs are administered by institutions of higher education and other educational organizations in the state that are awarded grants DHE. The ConnCAP grant awardees are those institutions submitting the most promising proposal to realize the program’s goals in response to a Request-For-Proposals (RFP) issued by DHE on behalf of the Board.

This competitive grant award process is implemented by DHE for five-year intervals, with annual renewals based on performance.

ConnCAP programs typically provide their students with an intensive six-week summer program which features enrichment instruction in courses within a core curriculum of English, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences and Foreign Languages. Supplemental activities of summer programming might include study skills, life skills, research skills and cultural activities. During the students’ regular school year, ConnCAP programs typically provide them with tutorial assistance, counseling, test preparation and career explorations. Special assistance is usually provided to senior students and their parents/guardians regarding the college application and financial aid application procedures.

Goal Attainment

Among the ConnCAP’s 1997-98 population of 2,818 students were 180 high school seniors. Of this cohort, 176 or 97.8 percent completed their senior year as ConnCAP participants. Of the retained 176 senior participants, 172 graduated from high school and 160 were accepted for enrollment in a college or university. The overall high school graduation rate for the 1998 cohort is 95.6 percent.

The ConnCAP 1998 college-going rates are regarded as being highly impressive achievements given the participants’ academic backgrounds and the other barriers they have had to surmount. The ConnCAP college-going rate of 88.9 percent for the entire senior cohort and 93.0 percent for the cohort’s high school graduates compare very favorably with that of the state as a whole at 75 percent – one of the highest college-going rates in the nation. The ConnCAP Class of 1998 graduation data is presented in Table 1.3.

TABLE 1.3
CONNECTICUT COLLEGIATE AWARENESS and PREPARATION PROGRAM
GRADUATING CLASS OF 1998
Program Senior
Students
Graduated
High School
High School
Graduation
Rate
Accepted
/ Enrolled
inCollege
College-
Going
Rate
Central Connecticut State University 19 16 84.2% 16 100.0%
CPEP, Inc 68 68 100.0% 63 92.6%
Eastern Connecticut State University 6 3 50.0% 3 100.0%
Naugatuck Valley Community Technical College 28 28 100.0% 23 82.1%
Norwalk Community Technical College 12 12 100.0% 11 91.7%
University of Connecticut 1 0 0.0% 0 0.0%
University of Connecticut Health Center 22 22 100.0% 22 100.0%
Wesleyan University 24 23 95.8% 22 95.7%
TOTAL 180 172 95.6% 160 93.0%

Program Expansion

A total of $1,471,000 was initially allocated to eleven institutions to operate twelve ConnCAP programs during the 1998-99 program year. See pages 7 and 8 for rosters of 1998-99 ConnCAP programming.

At the end of the 1998 legislative session, Governor John G. Rowland and the state legislature added $1 million to the MAP budget. The Board authorized DHE to utilize $400,000 of the increase to expand ConnCAP. Several of the existing programs increased the number of students serviced and/or expanded the scope of their activities. Additionally, DHE issued a special Request-For-Proposals for the establishment of new ConnCAP programs serving the city of Bridgeport and the tri-town area of Bloomfield, East Hartford and Windsor. In February 1999, grants were awarded to the University of Bridgeport and Capital Community-Technical College. The new programs will be fully operational and begin servicing students in the 1999-2000 program year.


CONNECTICUT COLLEGIATE AWARENESS and PREPARATION PROGRAM
(ConnCAP)

TYPES OF PROGRAMMING
July 1, 1997 – June 30, 1998

 

General Programming –

Grantee implements Summer Program and Academic Year Program as prescribed in ConnCAP Program Guidelines. Curriculum and activities are generalized, stressing preparation for college.

  1. Central Connecticut State University
  2. Eastern Connecticut State University (New London)
  3. Eastern Connecticut State University (Windham)
  4. Naugatuck Valley Community-Technical College
  5. Norwalk Community-Technical College
  6. University of Connecticut
  7. Wesleyan University
  8. Western Connecticut State University (Initiated by Wesleyan University and transferred to WCSU)

 

Special Emphasis Programming –

Grantee places a special emphasis upon a curriculum area(s) or preparation for a specific career area(s). Grantee does not implement both Summer Program and Academic Year Program as prescribed in ConnCAP Program Guidelines or does not do so for all participants.

  1. CPEP, Inc. – [Engineering, Math & Science]
  2. University of Connecticut Health Center – [Pre-Medical, Pre-Dental, Allied Health]

 

General/Special Emphasis Programming –

Grantee places a special emphasis upon a curriculum area(s) or preparation for a specific career area(s). Grantee implements Summer Program and Academic Year Program as prescribed in ConnCAP Program Guidelines.

  1. University of New Haven - [Engineering, Math & Science]
  2. Southern Connecticut State University - [Teacher Preparation]

 

PROGRAM SERVICE AREAS & POPULATION

SERVICE ORGANIZATION SERVICE AREA(S) POPULATION
Central Connecticut State University New Britain 140
CPEP, Inc. Twelve Urban Areas of State 2,100
Eastern Connecticut State University New London 80
Eastern Connecticut State University Windham 40
Naugatuck Valley Community-Technical College Waterbury 120
Norwalk Community-Technical College Stamford, Norwalk 85
Southern Connecticut State University New Haven 40
University of Connecticut Hartford 50
University of Connecticut Health Center The State 20
University of New Haven New Haven, West Haven 60
Wesleyan University Middletown, Meriden, Portland 120
Western Connecticut State University Danbury 50
TOTAL   2,905

 SECTION B: ACHIEVING STUDENT DIVERSITY - PART II

Historical Perspective and Program Goal

The Board of Governors for Higher Education adopted a policy statement, the Strategic Plan to Ensure Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Connecticut Public Higher Education, in April 1985, in part, to encourage the state’s public colleges and universities to improve the racial and ethnic diversity of their student bodies. As prescribed by the Strategic Plan:

Beginning November 1, 1985, and every five years thereafter, each public institution of higher education, through its board of trustees, shall submit to the Board of Governors, a minority student access and retention plan which will highlight long-range (five-year) and short-term (annual) goals and programs for achieving minority enrollment parity.

In 1986, the state legislature enacted the Board’s policy as state law and agreed to provide the Board with an annual appropriation to support its programmatic initiative designed to achieve the goals of the Strategic Plan. The Board then instituted the Minority Enrollment Incentive Program (MEIP) to provide the public colleges and universities with performance-based incentive grants to assist the institutions with the programmatic implementation of their Minority Student Access and Retention Plan. In its planning process, the Board designated African Americans and Hispanic/Latinos as the underrepresented minority groups in the population of students attending the state’s public colleges and universities. This specification was based upon the statistical analyses conducted prior to the formation of the Strategic Plan. Subsequently, Asian Americans and Native Americans were added to the underrepresented minority group designation.

The 1995-96 program year marked the end of the second institutional plan period. In commemorating the ten-year anniversary of the Strategic Plan, the Board directed its administrative arm – the Department of Higher Education – to assess the plan’s impact.

The policy and program review process ascertained that the institutions placed great, if not singular, emphasis upon minority student enrollment in developing and implementing their plans. Admirably, the institutions, as noted above, have virtually achieved minority enrollment parity in an aggregate sense. Program administrators responsible for the institutional plans and other campus officials have graciously acknowledged the instrumental role played by the Board’s policy and its programs. Nevertheless, the policy and review process team concluded from an examination of the policy statement and trend analyses of statistical data that the Board’s ultimate intention was minority student graduation.

The policy review process team observed that, in many instances, inadequate attention was paid to efforts that enhance students’ likelihood of graduating. The team recognized further that there was a lack of clarity within the policy regarding the Board’s ultimate intention that may have inadvertently been further clouded by the programmatic design and the proclivities of managerial oversight. In any event, this nebulous conjuncture was one of the leading impetuses for the team’s recommendations that: (1) the Board’s policy be restated and (2) its programmatic initiatives be redesigned.

It is abundantly clear that the goal of diversity in graduation at the senior college level is highly problematic. Manifestations of this dilemma include the following trends:

  1. Underrepresented minorities, specifically the two largest groups – African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos who overwhelmingly constitute a majority (89.4 percent) of the target (underrepresented minority) population – are overrepresented among junior college students. Junior college students in the public higher education system are those attending the twelve institutions of the Connecticut Community-Technical College system. (See Table 2.5)
  2. Underrepresented minorities, specifically the two largest groups, are underrepresented among senior college students. Senior college students in the public higher education system are those attending the University of Connecticut or the four institutions of the Connecticut State University system. (See Table 2.5)
  3. African American, Hispanic/Latino and Native American students historically experience significantly lower retention rates than all other racial/ethnic groups and the general student population as a whole at both the junior college and the senior college levels.

These symptoms and others are factors of the causative, highly correlated inadequate academic preparation and low-income status. The fact that African Americans and Hispanic/Latinos are disproportionately affected by this causation can not rationally be attributed to their racial or ethnic characteristics but to their low-income backgrounds.

Following the policy review process team’s recommendations, the Board of Governors for Higher Education directed the Department of Higher Education to develop a restatement of the Board’s policy and other instruments designed to more effectively promote and support goal attainment by the various public institutions of higher education. Subsequently, the Board adopted the Strategic Plan to Ensure Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Connecticut Public Higher Education: A Revised Statement of Policy in December 1996.

This revised statement of policy called for replacing the MEIP grant incentive program with a new initiative to be known as the Connecticut College Access and Success (ConnCAS) Program. To allow for this transition, the institutions’ second five-year Minority Student Access and Retention plans were extended for an additional year. Shortly after the Board adopted the revised statement of policy, the Department of Higher Education issued a Call for Plans to all public institutions of higher education for the establishment of institutional ConnCAS programs. A copy of the ConnCAS Program Guidelines accompanied the Call for Plans to each institution’s chief executive officer.

The Revised Statement of Policy and ConnCAS Program Guidelines prescribed the campus initiatives as developmental, targeting students’ inadequate preparation for success in acquiring a college education. These enabling documents mandated the institutions to develop strategic plans to achieve the following goals:

  1. Enroll African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian American, and Native American students in proportions within the total student population that are reflective of each ethnic or racial sub-group’s representation in the institution’s service area.
  2. Retain African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian American, and Native American students in proportions equal to that rate achieved by the student body as a whole.
  3. Graduate African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian American, and Native American students in proportions within the graduating student population that are reflective of each ethnic or racial sub-group’s representation in the institution’s service area.

Additionally, in their strategic planning process, each institution was required to develop:

  1. measurable objectives consistent with the diversity goals and the strategies chosen to achieve them,
  2. an action plan for integrative, systemic implementation – the execution of strategies, and
  3. an evaluation plan to document the degree to which objectives have been met and to provide feedback to the decision-making process regarding plan alterations or redesign.

The Board’s student diversity goals are long-term expectations that recognize the uniqueness of each public institution and appreciate the complexities of problems associated with goal achievement. Although the Board expects each institution to make annual, incremental progress toward goal attainment, the institutions are afforded a great deal of flexibility in structuring their short-term plans and differentiating among their strategies to bring about a maintenance of effort or to address continuing or unmet needs. In addition to conducting their own situational analyses of institutional progress toward the diversity goals per each underrepresented minority group, the institutions have been afforded the options of defining the desired levels of short-term progress as:

  1. maintaining current levels of goal attainment,
  2. achieving the prescribed level of goal attainment, or
  3. closing by one-half the existing gap(s) between the prescribed level of goal attainment and the institution’s current level of goal attainment.

The institutions submitted their plans to the department in March 1997 and began implementation of their ConnCAS initiatives in July or September 1997. A total of $425,000 was allocated to the institutions to assist them in implementation of their plans. For the 1998-99 program year, $429,000 was allocated to the institutions. The measurable objectives proposed by the various institutions are presented in the previous edition of this Annual Report.

Goal Attainment

The long-term trend of increasing numbers and greater proportions of underrepresented minority students enrolled as undergraduates in the state’s public institutions of higher education continued in the fall of 1998. While overall enrollment in Connecticut public institutions dropped for the ninth straight year, minority student enrollment is up for the fifteenth consecutive year. Collectively, minority student enrollment in the public institutions increased to 15,914 students. Thus, the proportion of minority students actually exceeded the minority proportion in the state’s general population for the fifth consecutive year this measure of progress has been calculated. Of all students enrolled, 20.0 percent of public college and university students identified themselves as members of the underrepresented minority groups. According to U.S. Census Bureau’s mid-decade projections, these four groups collectively constitute 18.9 percent of the state’s residents. See Table 2.1 and Table 2.2 below for depictions of this enrollment data.

It is disclosed in Table 2.2 that among the four underrepresented minority groups, only the enrollment of Hispanic/Latino students did not exceed their representation in the state’s population. Nevertheless, other enrollment data, (see Table 2.7) indicate that among all racial/ethnic groups, Hispanic/Latino students experienced the greatest average growth rate in public higher education enrollment between the fall of 1986 and the fall of 1998. It is particularly promising that the greatest level of this growth took place on the Connecticut State University campuses. If all other factors were held constant, it would only take an additional two years before the aggregated enrollment of Hispanic/Latino students also exceeded their representation in the population.

TABLE 2.1
UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT ENROLLMENT
IN PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION BY RACIAL/ETHNIC GROUP
FALL 1998
(percentages are rounded to nearest tenth)
RACIAL/ETHNIC GROUP NUMBER PERCENTAGE
African American 7,649 9.6
Hispanic/Latino 5,479 6.9
Asian American 2,452 3.1
Native American 334 0.4
Underrepresented Minorities 15,914 20.0
ALL STUDENTS 79,624 100.0

 

TABLE 2.2
COMPARISON OF UNDERGRADUATE
MINORITY STUDENT ENROLLMENT
IN PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION AND
STUDENT DIVERSITY GOALS
(percentages are rounded to nearest tenth)
RACIAL/ETHNIC GROUP PROJECTED
POPULATION PERCENTAGE1
FALL 1998
ENROLLMENT PERCENTAGE
GOAL
ATTAINMENT RATE2
African American 9.0 9.6 106.7%
Hispanic/Latino 7.9 6.9 87.3%
Asian American 1.8 3.1 172.2%
Native American 0.2 0.4 200.0%
Underrepresented Minorities 18.9 20.0 105.8%
NOTES:
1. U.S. Census Bureau’s mid-decade projections
2. Rate = Enrollment percentage divided by population percentage

In an aggregated sense, it could be said that the Board of Governors for Higher Education’s goal of parity in the enrollment of minority students in the state’s public colleges and universities has virtually been achieved. However, a more analytical examination of the Board’s intention and relevant data indicate that entrance into college is but a preliminary step to the more important goal of graduation.

From the fall of 1984 to the fall of 1998, the enrollment of underrepresented minority students at the state’s public institutions grew from 8.9 percent to 20.0 percent, an increase of 124.7 percent. However, the level of minority college enrollment has yet to give rise to a comparable level of achievement in college graduation. Although, the percentage of underrepresented minority students receiving undergraduate degrees increased from 6.6 percent in 1984-85 to 13.8 percent in 1997-98, an increase of 109.1 percent, the goal attainment level rate is well below parity.

Utilizing the most recent data available, in looking at goal attainment for graduation in the same fashion as we employed in determining the attainment of enrollment goals (Table 2.2 above) we can see a sharp difference between the enrollment rates and graduation rates of underrepresented minority students. Of the 9,897 students who received bachelor’s or associate’s degrees during the 1997-98 academic year, 1,365 or 13.8 percent were members of the underrepresented minority groups.

TABLE 2.3
COMPARISON OF MINORITY STUDENTS RECEIVING
UNDERGRADUATE DEGREES IN
PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION AND STUDENT DIVERSITY GOALS
(percentages are rounded to nearest tenth)
RACIAL/ETHNIC GROUP PROJECTED
POPULATION
PERCENTAGE1
1997-1998
GRADUATION
PERCENTAGE
GOAL
ATTAINMENT
RATE2
African American 9.0 6.3 70.0%
Hispanic/Latino 7.9 4.2 53.2%
Asian American 1.8 3.0 166.7%
Native American 0.2 0.4 200.0%
Underrepresented Minorities 18.9 13.8 73.0%
NOTES:
1. U.S. Census Bureau’s mid-decade projections
2. Rate = Graduation percentage divided by population percentage.

As indicated in Table 2.3, the graduation goal attainment level was 73.0 percent, slightly more than two-thirds of the enrollment goal attainment level. However, when we differentiate between goal attainment levels among the junior colleges and the senior institutions (Table 2.4 below), it is apparent that most of the goal achievement, in both instances, has occurred at the junior college level. For a more detailed presentation of the data reflected in Table 2.4 see tables 2.1A, 2.1B, 2.2A, 2.2B, 2.3A and 2.3B.

TABLE 2.4
DIVERSITY GOAL ATTAINMENT LEVEL
BY INSTITUTIONAL TYPE OF PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION
(percentages are rounded to nearest tenth)
INSTITUTIONAL TYPE ENROLLMENT GOAL
ATTAINMENT LEVEL
GRADUATION GOAL
ATTAINMENT LEVEL
Junior College 129.1% 94.2%
Senior College 82.5% 61.9%
TOTAL 105.8% 73.0%

Programmatic Expansion

The trends in the enrollment and graduation of underrepresented minority students in the state’s public colleges and universities were observed in the previous edition of this Annual Report - the first such report of the current five-year plan and implementation period of the Strategic Plan. The expansion of funds allocated by Governor John G. Rowland and the state legislature for the Board of Governors’ diversification strategies afforded the Board the opportunity to be responsive to the significant differential between minority enrollment and graduation rates.

Thus, the Board of Governors authorized the Department of Higher Education to launch a new initiative to booster underrepresented minority graduation rates in the state’s colleges and universities. The design of the Connecticut College Admission and Bridge (ConnCAB) Program was based upon a body of empirical research. A number of studies have concluded that participation in a summer bridge program on campus prior to regular enrollment in the fall, and the provision of student support services significantly enhance the likelihood that underprepared and minority students are retained and will eventually graduate from an institution of higher education. The Department expects at least ten of the state’s colleges and universities will be awarded grants totaling $500,000 to initiate or expand pre-existing summer bridge programs in June of the 1998-99 program year.

Additionally, the Department of Higher Education instituted a new data collection process regarding student retention at the public colleges and universities. This data will not only provide the Office of Educational Opportunity with instructive retention measurements, they will inform and guide the various institutions in the design, implementation and evaluation of their internal student retention activities.


SECTION C: ACHIEVING REPRESENTATIVE PARITY
IN THE EMPLOYMENT OF UNDERREPRESENTED MINORITIES
AMONG THE PROFESSIONAL STAFF

Historical Perspective and Program Goal

The Board of Governors for Higher Education adopted the Strategic Plan to Ensure Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Connecticut Public Higher Education, in April 1985. A major element of the Strategic Plan encourages the state’s public colleges and universities to engage and maintain a professional staff that is representative of the racial and ethnic diversity in the state’s general population. In the departmental study that served as a precursor to the Strategic Plan, African Americans and Hispanic/Latinos were identified as underrepresented in the professional ranks of the public colleges and universities. Subsequently Asian Americans and Native Americans were added to the Board’s specification of underrepresented minorities. An analysis of employment data indicated that within the non-professional categories, minority representation was not problematic. The applicable occupational categories regarded as professional are:

  1. Officials/Administrators,
  2. Faculty members, and
  3. Professional staff/non-faculty

In 1986, the state legislature enacted the Board’s policy as state law and agreed to provide the Board with an annual appropriation to support its programmatic initiative designed to achieve the goals of the Strategic Plan. The Board then instituted the Minority Staff Development and Recruitment Program to provide the public colleges and universities with performance-based incentive grants to assist them in proposed efforts to diversity their professional staffs.

The 1995-96 program year marked the ten-year anniversary of the Strategic Plan. The Board directed its administrative arm – the Department of Higher Education (DHE) – to assess the plan’s impact. A team of departmental staff members conducted this policy and program review and recommended that the Board’s policy be redesigned to more effectively promote and support goal attainment. Subsequently, the Board adopted the Strategic Plan to Ensure Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Connecticut Public Higher Education: A Revised Statement of Policy in December 1996.

This revised statement of policy called for the elimination of the Minority Staff Development and Recruitment Program (MSDRP) as a grant incentive program. The review team concluded that of the growth in the representation of minority group members among the professional staffs at the state’s public colleges and universities only 17.5 percent had occurred between 1991 and 1995. Conversely, 82.5 percent of that growth took place between 1983 and 1990. The review process also revealed that, of late, MSDRP funds were frequently utilized by the campuses for activities other than diversification of their professional staffs. Although such activities were instrumental in heightening minority staff morale and in furthering minority staff members’ occupational advancement, the activities no longer contributed materially toward goal attainment. The Board subsequently agreed and decided to allocate its diversity funding exclusively in support of student activities at the precollege and college levels.

Nevertheless, the Board did not abandon its commitment to representative employment. The Revised Statement of Policy requires each of the public colleges and universities to develop and implement a Strategic Plan to Achieve Representative Parity in the Employment of Underrepresented Minorities among the Professional Staff. The prescribed goal for this institutional process is as follows:

Employ African Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, Asian Americans and Native Americans among the institution’s full-time professional occupational categories – (1) officials/ administrators, (2) faculty members, and (3) professional staff – in proportions reflective of each racial or ethnic group’s representation in the institution’s availability pool.

The policy restatement also stipulated that in their strategic planning process, each institution is to develop:

  1. measurable objectives consistent with the Board’s staff diversity goal,
  2. an action plan for system implementation – the execution of appropriate strategies, and
  3. an evaluation plan to document the degree to which the objectives have been met and to provide feedback to the decision-making process regarding plan alterations or redesign.

Goal Attainment

The grand total of underrepresented minority group members employed full-time in all occupational categories by Connecticut’s public institutions of higher education increased from 1,561 at the end of 1997 to 1,774 at the end of 1998. An aggregated depiction of the 1998 data is presented in Table 3.1 below. The numerical increase amounted to a growth of more than 13.6 percent. However, the representative proportion of underrepresented minority group members among the workforce of public colleges and universities decreased very slightly from 15.9 percent in 1997 to 15.8 percent in 1998.

TABLE 3.1
FULL-TIME EMPLOYMENT OF UNDERREPRESENTED MINORITIES
AMONG THE FULL-TIME WORKFORCE
AT CONNECTICUT PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION
BY OCCUPATIONAL CATEGORY AND RACIAL/ETHNIC GROUP
(as of December 1, 1998 - percents are rounded to nearest tenth)
OCCUPATIONAL CATEGORY RACIAL/ETHNIC GROUP
African American Hispanic/Latino Asian American Native American All Underrepresented Minorities
Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
Administrators/Officials 45 8.8% 9 1.8% 9 1.8% 0 0.0% 63 12.3%
Faculty Members 153 4.7% 102 3.1% 202 6.2% 13 0.4% 470 14.3%
Professional Staff 259 7.2% 117 3.2% 132 3.6% 11 0.3% 519 14.3%
ALL PROFESSIONALS 457 6.2% 228 3.1% 343 4.6% 24 0.3% 1,052 14.2%
Paraprofessionals/Technicians 72 12.8% 34 6.0% 9 1.6% 2 0.4% 117 20.8%
Protective Service 31 13.1% 19 8.0% 3 1.3% 1 0.4% 54 22.8%
Office/Clerical 169 10.2% 74 4.5% 14 0.8% 3 0.2% 260 15.7%
Skilled Craft Workers 15 4.5% 9 2.7% 0 0.0% 2 0.6% 26 7.8%
Service/Maintenance 97 9.6% 143 14.1% 19 1.9% 6 0.6% 265 26.2%
NONPROFESSIONALS 384 10.1% 279 7.3% 45 1.2% 14 0.4% 722 19.0%
ALL EMPLOYEES 841 7.5% 507 4.5% 388 3.5% 38 0.3% 1,774 15.8%

The number of underrepresented minority group members employed full-time by Connecticut’s public institutions of higher education in the professional workforce categories increased by more than 16.6 percent from 902 at the end of 1997 to1,052 at the end of 1998. However, the proportion of underrepresented minority group members among the institutions’ professional staffs decreased from 14.6 percent in 1997 to 14.2 percent in 1998. There were numerical increases in the employment of underrepresented minority group members in each of the three professional workforce categories from 1997 to 1998. However, there was a significant decline in the percentage of underrepresented minorities in the professional staff/non-faculty category, from 15.9 percent to 14.3 percent despite a numerical increase of 25.4 percent from 414 in 1997 to 519 in 1998.

The portion of Connecticut’s population identified as one of the four underrepresented minority groups has been estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau to be 18.9 percent. With an aggregate professional employment level at 14.2 percent, it could be said that the public institutions have collectively achieved 75.1 percent of its professional staff diversification goal, since 14.2% divided by 18.9% = 75.1%. Table 3.2 presents a tabulation of goal attainment levels utilizing population and employment levels as the only variables. Although this method of establishing the level of goal attainment was utilized in the preceding edition of the Annual Report, the search continued for a more informative and generative process.

As seen in the goal attainment levels depicted in Table 3.2, the underrepresented minority groups achieved vastly different degrees of representation in the professional occupational categories. Were this data presented for the individual institutions, it would be apparent that the differentials in degrees of representation are greater. The fact that the community-technical college service regions of the state with varying racial/ethnic distributions also raises questions as to the appropriateness of an employment level/population formula to quantify goal attainment. Moreover, it must be acknowledged that representation in the population can not be equated with qualification to undertake professional employment responsibilities. Clearly, a number of other variables must be considered in determining institutional goal attainment in diversifying professional employment.

It is fortuitous that workforce analyses and the compilation formulas for the availability and utilization of racial and ethnic groupings in employment procedures have already been institutionalized in the state of Connecticut. The state’s public colleges and universities are already mandated to annually develop and implement affirmative action plans to the Connecticut Commission for Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO). Additionally, the CHRO procedures for the workforce formulations afford the institutions to utilize variables that are reflective of their unique circumstances and applicable labor market.

There are distinct differences between affirmative action and racial/ethnic diversification practices. There are also differences in data collection and related procedures at CHRO and DHE. Nevertheless, the Strategic Plan’s Peer Review Committee, in approving the procedural change, concluded that the quantification of hiring goals within CHRO guidelines is instructive to the progressive and evolutionary nature of institutional efforts undertaken to attain the Board of Governors’ staff diversification goals.

A compilation of goal attainment utilizing CHRO’s quantification of hiring goals is presented in Table 3.3. The aggregation of hiring goals at the public colleges and universities in comparison to their actual employment levels indicate that collectively, the institutions have virtually achieved parity in engaging a racially and ethnically diverse professional staff with a goal attainment rate of 99.1 percent. Of course, there are differences in goal attainment among the racial/ethnic groups and the professional occupational categories. Again, there are even greater differentials in goal attainment at the individual institutions and within specific occupational categories. For instance, at one of the institutions, goal attainment exceeds 100 percent in eleven of a possible twelve measures. But within the category of faculty members, where the goal of parity has been achieved in the aggregate, the underrepresented minority members are concentrated in the ranks of assistant professor and instructor.

The number of underrepresented minority group members employed full-time by Connecticut’s public institutions of higher education in the professional workforce categories increased by more than 16.6 percent from 902 at the end of 1997 to1,052 at the end of 1998. However, the proportion of underrepresented minority group members among the institutions’ professional staffs decreased from 14.6 percent in 1997 to 14.2 percent in 1998. There were numerical increases in the employment of underrepresented minority group members in each of the three professional workforce categories from 1997 to 1998. However, there was a significant decline in the percentage of underrepresented minorities in the professional staff/non-faculty category, from 15.9 percent to 14.3 percent despite a numerical increase of 25.4 percent from 414 in 1997 to 519 in 1998.

The portion of Connecticut’s population identified as one of the four underrepresented minority groups has been estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau to be 18.9 percent. With an aggregate professional employment level at 14.2 percent, it could be said that the public institutions have collectively achieved 75.1 percent of its professional staff diversification goal, since 14.2% divided by 18.9% = 75.1%. Table 3.2 presents a tabulation of goal attainment levels utilizing population and employment levels as the only variables. Although this method of establishing the level of goal attainment was utilized in the preceding edition of the Annual Report, the search continued for a more informative and generative process.

As seen in the goal attainment levels depicted in Table 3.2, the underrepresented minority groups achieved vastly different degrees of representation in the professional occupational categories. Were this data presented for the individual institutions, it would be apparent that the differentials in degrees of representation are greater. The fact that the community-technical college service regions of the state with varying racial/ethnic distributions also raises questions as to the appropriateness of an employment level/population formula to quantify goal attainment. Moreover, it must be acknowledged that representation in the population can not be equated with qualification to undertake professional employment responsibilities. Clearly, a number of other variables must be considered in determining institutional goal attainment in diversifying professional employment.

It is fortuitous that workforce analyses and the compilation formulas for the availability and utilization of racial and ethnic groupings in employment procedures have already been institutionalized in the state of Connecticut. The state’s public colleges and universities are already mandated to annually develop and implement affirmative action plans to the Connecticut Commission for Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO). Additionally, the CHRO procedures for the workforce formulations afford the institutions to utilize variables that are reflective of their unique circumstances and applicable labor market./p>

There are distinct differences between affirmative action and racial/ethnic diversification practices. There are also differences in data collection and related procedures at CHRO and DHE. Nevertheless, theb>Strategic Plan’s Peer Review Committee, in approving the procedural change, concluded that the quantification of hiring goals within CHRO guidelines is instructive to the progressive and evolutionary nature of institutional efforts undertaken to attain the Board of Governors’ staff diversification goals./p>

A compilation of goal attainment utilizing CHRO’s quantification of hiring goals is presented in Table 3.3. The aggregation of hiring goals at the public colleges and universities in comparison to their actual employment levels indicate that collectively, the institutions have virtually achieved parity in engaging a racially and ethnically diverse professional staff with a goal attainment rate of 99.1 percent. Of course, there are differences in goal attainment among the racial/ethnic groups and the professional occupational categories. Again, there are even greater differentials in goal attainment at the individual institutions and within specific occupational categories. For instance, at one of the institutions, goal attainment exceeds 100 percent in eleven of a possible twelve measures. But within the category of faculty members, where the goal of parity has been achieved in the aggregate, the underrepresented minority members are concentrated in the ranks of assistant professor and instructor.

TABLE 3.2
COMPARISON OF EMPLOYMENT OF UNDERREPRESENTED MINORITIES
AMONG THE FULL-TIME PROFESSIONAL WORKFORCE
AT CONNECTICUT PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION
WITH POPULATION PERCENTAGE
(percentages are rounded to nearest tenth)

MINORITY GROUP/
OCCUPATIONAL CATEGORIES

1998
PROJECTED
POPULATION
PERCENTAGE
END-OF-YEAR
EMPLOYMENT
PERCENTAGE
GOAL
ATTAINMENT
RATE

AFRICAN AMERICAN

9.0

Officials/Administrators

  8.8 97.8%

Faculty

  4.7 52.2%

Professional Staff

7.2 80.0%

PROFESSIONAL WORKFORCE

  6.2 68.9%

HISPANIC/LATINO

7.9

Officials/Administrators

  1.8 22.8%

Faculty

  3.1 39.2%

Professional Staff

  3.2 40.5%

PROFESSIONAL WORKFORCE

  3.1 39.2%

ASIAN AMERICAN

1.8

Officials/Administrators

  1.8 100.0%

Faculty

  6.2 344.4%

Professional Staff

  3.6 200.0%

PROFESSIONAL WORKFORCE

  4.6 255.6%

NATIVE AMERICAN

0.2

Officials/Administrators

  0.0 0.0%

Faculty

  0.4 200.0%

Professional Staff

  0.3 150.0%

PROFESSIONAL WORKFORCE

  0.3 150.0%

UNDERREPRESENTED MINORITIES

18.9

Officials/Administrators

  12.3 65.1%

Faculty

  14.3 75.7%

Professional Staff

  14.3 75.7%

PROFESSIONAL WORKFORCE

  14.2 75.1%

NOTES:
Population percents are U.S. Census Bureau's mid-decade projections.
Goal Attainment Rate = Employment percent divided by Population percent.

 

TABLE 3.3
COMPARISON OF EMPLOYMENT OF UNDERREPRESENTED MINORITIES
AMONG THE FULL-TIME PROFESSIONAL WORKFORCE
AT CONNECTICUT PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION
WITH CHRO HIRING GOALS
(percentages are rounded to nearest tenth)
MINORITY GROUP/
OCCUPATIONAL CATEGORIES
ACTUAL
EMPLOYMENT
LEVEL*
PARITY
GOAL**
GOAL
ATTAINMENT
RATE***
AFRICAN AMERICAN
Officials/Administrators 45 45 100.0%
Faculty 153 195 78.5%
Professional Staff 259 237 109.3%
PROFESSIONAL WORKFORCE 457 477 95.8%
HISPANIC/LATINO
Officials/Administrators 9 16 56.3%
Faculty 102 113 90.3%
Professional Staff 117 124 94.4%
PROFESSIONAL WORKFORCE 228 253 90.1%
OTHERS****
Officials/Administrators 9 13 69.2%
Faculty 215 179 120.1%
Professional Staff 143 140 102.1%
PROFESSIONAL WORKFORCE 367 332 110.5%
UNDERREPRESENTED MINORITIES
Officials/Administrators 63 74 85.1%
Faculty 470 487 96.5%
Professional Staff 519 501 103.6%
PROFESSIONAL WORKFORCE 1052 1062 99.1%
NOTES:
* per 1998 Staff Diversity in Full-Time Employment Report to DHE
** per Nov. 1997 - Oct. 1998 Affirmative Action Plan to CHRO
*** Goal Attainment Rate = Employment percent divided by Parity Goal
**** CHRO procedures list Asian and Native Americans as Others

In constructing their Strategic Plan to Achieve Representative Parity in the Employment of Underrepresented Minorities among the Professional Staff, the public colleges and universities are allowed to differentiate among its twelve measurable objectives (four racial/ethnic groups times three occupational categories) and the strategic activities chosen to achieve them. Additionally, in recognition of each campus’ unique positioning the new policy statement allows each institution to state its objectives in one of three options. The institutions may construct movement toward an ideal state of representative parity in one of the following manners:

  1. maintain current levels of goal attainment,
  2. achieve the prescribed level of goal attainment, or
  3. close by one-half the existing gap(s) between the desired level of goal attainment and the institution’s current level of goal attainment.

The campus’ affirmative action officers have been charged with the responsibility of developing their institution’s strategic plan for staff diversification. To reduce the possibilities of needless duplication, the affirmative action officers may construct their staff diversity plans, in part, by utilizing relevant sections of their annual Affirmative Action Plan to CHRO. It is expected that the new formulations of goal attainment will inform the institutions and guide them in the construction of effective strategies to fully achieve a diverse professional staff.


APPENDIX

SECTION B: ACHIEVING STUDENT DIVERSITY SUPPLEMENTAL STATISTICAL DATA


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