Equity Audit

The Center for Project-Based Learning recently engaged in an equity audit of our practices to examine where to target our efforts to meet our goal of being a powerful ally for justice, equity, and transformation in higher education. Below is a visual overview of the audit findings around who we are at the Center, who the Center serves, and what the Center does.

Equity Audit 2022 graphic summary

What is an equity audit?

Equity audits allow us to examine how our organizational practices are related to trends in diversity, equity, and inclusion. As a leadership tool, equity audits provide an opportunity to discuss how our actions contribute to inequitable systems using concrete, specific, and relevant data points. Equity audits result in analyses that can inform decisions about which practices might need to change; conducting equity audits regularly over time allows leaders to assess whether adjustments to practices have led to more equitable processes and outcomes.

While equity audits are not yet common in higher education, guidance for a variety of models in K-12 education have been published in recent decades.

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  • Linda Skrla, Jim Scheurich and colleagues have suggested that schools include indicators of three areas to monitor equity in teacher quality, access to high-quality educational programming, and achievement of learning outcomes. In the K-12 realm, teacher quality and curricular quality are the prime ingredients within schools that impact learning.
  • Terrance Green adapted equity audits to focus on equity in community partnerships, recommending that school leaders include asset mapping, interviews with community members, and other perspectives to fully understand how diversity, equity, and inclusion practices are implemented by the school.
  • Beloved Community, a DEI consulting firm, designed guidance for conducting equity audits across a wider range of organizations. The free online tool is customizable with more than 200 indicators which are recommended based on aspects of the organization being audited. The tool is available at https://www.wearebeloved.org/what-we-do.

If you are interested in working with a national leader in student-centered, experiential high-impact practices to guide your own equity audit, please contact us to see how we might work together.