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Partner Stories

Turning Passion into Momentum

Addressing Equity Gaps at the Community College of Denver

Community College of Denver (CCD), a Hispanic-serving institution, collaborated with EAB's Moon Shot for Equity initiative to implement transformative policies and practices, resulting in increased retention rates, enhanced cross-campus coordination, and improved student outcomes.

Community College of Denver

7,273

Total student enrollment

78%

of whom attend part-time

63%

of whom are first-generation college students
  • The Opportunity

    Siloed operations and the absence of a clear framework rendered CCD’s equity efforts less effective. 

    CCD’s efforts to address equity gaps had grassroots support among faculty and staff. However, in the absence of clear, actionable steps and a structured framework, progress stalled, hindering the translation of support into an effective, coordinated plan to address equity gaps on campus.

  • The Solution

    The implementation of policy and practice reform led to a broader transformation.

    CCD joined EAB’s Moon Shot for Equity initiative in the summer of 2022. By implementing Moon Shot’s research-informed and field-tested best practices, campus leaders made tangible changes to transfer pathways, curriculum, career development, and onboarding. The leadership’s active involvement in these structured opportunities to enhance the student experience led to a broader transformation. This transformation unveiled opportunities for improving organizational culture, applying equity-minded inquiry to data, establishing new norms for cross-campus collaboration, and harnessing new insights through the Moon Shot community of practice.

  • 2%

     increase in retention rate for Hispanic students from AY22 to AY23

  • 5

     Moon Shot best practices integrated into CCD’s revamped guided pathways implementation

  • Full CCD Executive Council

     serving as the Moon Shot for Equity steering committee, ensuring cross-campus coordination and accountability 

  • The Impact

    CCD’s dedication has yielded a noticeable impact on retention rates. 

    By integrating Moon Shot into their Guided Pathways implementation efforts, enhancing collaboration between co-located institutions, facilitating leadership development through EAB-led sessions on data literacy and equity-minded inquiry, and creating structured opportunities to redesign policies and practices, CCD has harnessed the passion of campus stakeholders and translated it into tangible action and improved student outcomes. 

Inside the Cross-Campus Effort to Remove Barriers to Student Success and Equity

Applying Data with an Equity Mindset

Data-Informed: Campus leaders championed the practical application of data literacy in recurring data review sessions with Deans and Department Chairs, using equity-minded inquiry as a guiding framework. 

Tech-Enabled: CCD onboarded new care units in Navigate360, EAB’s student success CRM, which both expanded data access and introduced new data sources around student engagement with support services. 

  • 100+

    campus leaders trained on data interpretation and strategic decision-making

  • 360

    campus leaders using Navigate to access real-time data on student need

Partnering on Equity-Focused Transfer Reform

CCD recognized the national disparities in transfer student outcomes as an equity imperative. They built an inter-campus coalition to address issues in the articulation of state-wide guaranteed transfer courses. 

CCD began mapping guaranteed credit transfer courses at two four-year partner institutions, Metropolitan State University (MSU) and University of Colorado Denver (UCD). Their efforts improved rates of successful credit articulation for both CCD students as well as every student transferring to MSU or UCD from any campus within the Colorado Community College System.

Monthly Collaboration with Four-Year Partners

CCD fostered a collaborative environment with MSU and UCD, working toward improving transfer pathways between their campuses.

Prioritizing Courses for Examination

CCD began by prioritizing Colorado’s guaranteed transfer courses and identified barriers to successful credit articulation (i.e. learning outcome alignment and course equivalency database errors).

Addressing Articulation of Credit for Prior Learning

MSU agreed to begin accepting all transcripted credit for prior learning from CCD, which further benefits CCD’s adult learners interested in a four-year degree.

Updates for Seamless Alignment

Collaborative updates to course catalogs at MSU and UCD improved alignment with equivalent courses, facilitating a more seamless and equitable transfer process.

Dual-Pronged Approach to Fostering a Sense of Belonging

In the Classroom:

  • Implemented contextual learning* in Spanish
  • Focused efforts on community-building within the academic setting

*Contextual learning: making learning more meaningful by embedding it within relevant contexts.

Co-Curricular:

  • Engaged families in campus activities
  • Hosted summer social sessions conducted exclusively in Spanish and offered other bilingual events