Student Progression and Achievement Rates (SPAR) and Socioeconomic Status

Resolution Number
Assigned to
Equity and Diversity
Not Addressed
Status Report

I don't think we ever did anything with this one.

Whereas, All colleges will soon publish their Student Progress and Achievement Rates (SPAR)1 on their “Scorecard” websites as part of the California Community College System response to the Student Success Task Force recommendations, and the biggest predictor of a college’s SPAR rate is the zip code of students attending that college, with zip code acting as a proxy for socioeconomic status2;

Whereas, SPAR rates will also be disaggregated by ethnicity and published in an effort to encourage colleges to appropriately focus their efforts on reducing existing achievement gaps;

Whereas, Over a decade of research in K-12 indicates that if income is taken into account along with ethnicity, income is the significantly larger predictor of academic achievement3; and

Whereas, The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) is also now requiring that colleges report data about enrolled students disaggregated by ethnicity and socioeconomic status4, although many colleges do not directly collect socioeconomic status information and therefore must use other data as a proxy;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges encourage colleges to begin collecting socioeconomic status information to be defined more specifically by the Intersegmental Committee of Academic Senates (ICAS) directly on student applications in addition to zip code data; and

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges encourage colleges to report cross-tabulated data regarding ethnicity and socioeconomic status to the public and to faculty and staff in an effort to correctly identify true existing achievement gaps.

1. Board of Governors Meeting 9/10 – 11, 2012 Update on the Implementation of Student Success Task Force Recommendations
2. Personal Communication, Patrick Perry at meeting of Task Force for the Accountability Report Card for Community Colleges meetings, Spring 2012
3. More available upon request, see for example: Washington School Research Center, Technical Report #1, July 2001, "The Relationship Among Achievement, Low Income and Ethnicity Across Six Groups of Washington State Students”
4. ACCJC Visiting Team Training Materials, Powerpoint “Preparing For Educational Quality And Institutional Effectiveness Review”, September 2012.