Season 2, Episode 2 - Mind The Gap: Going Beyond Diversity And Rethinking Inclusion

Transcript | Duration: 25:18

About this Episode:

Whereas there is ample evidence of persistent equity gaps across the education pipeline, successfully closing the gap has thus far eluded higher education leaders and policy makers. What do we know about what works, emerging best practices, and why equity gaps are so stubborn? 

Higher Ed Rewired spoke with postsecondary education faculty researchers, Dr. Frank Harris III and Dr. Eric Felix of San Diego State University, to discuss their research and recommendations on the work required in closing equity gaps and rethinking inclusion. We also dive into the work at Pasadena City College that has driven institutional change by going beyond diversity and rethinking inclusion for their 27,000 students. 

Featured on this episode: 

Dr. Eric Felix’s (https://www.drericfelix.com/scholarship) areas of expertise include higher education policy implementation, community college reform, issues of racial equity and critical policy analysis. This past year he has been in a postdoctoral role with the Center for Urban Education, and now he is an Assistant professor at San Diego State University.  A native of Anaheim, California, Eric is a first-generation college student and a proud graduate of the California State University system, attending California State University Fullerton for his bachelor's degree and San Diego State for his master’s.  

Dr. Frank Harris III (https://drfharris3.com/) is a professor of postsecondary education and Co-Director of the Community College Equity Assessment Lab (CCEAL) at San Diego State University. He is best known for his expertise in racial [in]equity in postsecondary education and has made important contributions to knowledge about college student development and the social construction of gender and race in college contexts. His work prioritizes populations that have been historically underrepresented and underserved in education. 

Dr. Cynthia Olivo currently serves as the Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Student Services at Pasadena City College (PCC) (https://pasadena.edu/). PCC has 27,000 diverse students, the majority of whom meet low income guidelines or are students of color, and 48% are first generation college students. Her leadership roles include utilizing innovation to improve student success, consensus building among stakeholder groups to advance student equity, and creating an engaging, inclusive environment to foster change in our practices while emphasizing cultural competence of practitioners to meet student needs. Dr. Olivo is the immediate past president of the Chief Student Services Officer Association, Co-Founder and President of COLEGAS, a statewide organization for Latinx professionals in community colleges, Adjunct Faculty at University of Southern California and a member of the Jobs for the Future Leadership & Policy Trust.