December 2, 2019 – Santa Fe College recently received its results from the National Assessment of Collegiate Campus Climates (NACCC). SF participated along with 20 other colleges in the inaugural roll-out of this study. The assessment was designed by the University of Southern California’s Race and Equity Center and is aimed at collecting data on student perceptions in six content areas having to do with the racial climate on campus: 1) mattering and affirmation, 2) cross-racial engagement, 3) appraisals of institutional commitment, 4) racial learning and literacy, 5) encounters with racial stress, 6) impact of external environments. Students had six weeks to take the survey, which was sent out digitally via campus email. Participation was incentivized by the chance of winning an iPad Mini.
18,335 SF students were sent the survey and 9% responded. 66% of respondents were women, 31% were men, and 2% were gender nonconforming. Respondents self-identified as 61% White, 22% Hispanic or Latinx, 16% African American, 7% Asian, 2% Native American, 1% Arab American, 1% Mestizo, 1% Middle Eastern, 1% Native Hawaiian and/or Pacific Islander, 1% South Asian/Desi American, and 2% from groups not listed.
Participating schools were then ranked on a scale of one to four, one being poor and four being excellent, in the NACCC’s six content areas. Notably, SF received a three or higher in every content area but one, racial learning and literacy. This category examines if and where students learn about their own racial identities and about other racial groups, as well as the extent to which they feel racial diversity is reflected in curricula and class discussions, and how prepared they feel to live and work in a racially diverse society after college. “To address these issues, we’ve begun a process of working with faculty to ensure all of our students have the opportunity to learn about racial inequality and to celebrate racial diversity in our curriculum,” said Cheryl Calhoun, SF’s Dean of Access and Inclusion.
SF scored higher than most other participating schools in the content area of appraisals of institutional commitment. This is a category that gauges administrators’ demonstrated commitments to racial diversity and inclusion and their responses to racial problems on campus. Still, the disaggregated data shows that white respondents tended to have more positive perceptions than students of color.
This new data will serve Santa Fe College on many fronts. As the still fresh SF Office of Access and Inclusion works to build initiatives that eliminate racial inequity on campus, these NACCC results provide valuable input from those the college is meant to serve, the students. The survey results also reveal the college’s strengths and weaknesses in comparison with other schools and offer a map for prioritizing action and resources to meet the college’s equity goals. SF intends to roll out the NACCC again in 2020 to begin to chart annual changes in perceptions of the campus racial climate.
For more information about SF’s Access and Inclusion, visit sfcollege.edu/access-inclusion.