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GET REAL: Exploring Equity-Mindedness at a Large, Urban, and Predominantly White Institution

Sikora, Maggie (2017) GET REAL: Exploring Equity-Mindedness at a Large, Urban, and Predominantly White Institution. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This dissertation considers the problem of practice concerning inequitable enrollments for Black and Latina/o graduate students, particularly in comparison to their White counterparts. In efforts to explore an effective way to alleviate such inequities, this study focuses on the development of equity-minded practitioners. As a result, the research is grounded in Bensimon’s (2007) concept of equity-mindedness and the University of Southern California’s Center for Urban Education components of equity-mindedness (2016), as well as the Equity Scorecard (EqS) framework (2012).
Taking a qualitative, case study approach to exploring the issue of inequitable enrollments for Black and Latina/o graduate students, I brought together a team of practitioners of higher education—faculty, staff, and doctoral students—to form a committee called GET REAL: Graduate Enrollment Targets Realized via Equity-Minded Approaches and Leadership. The context for this study and the GET REAL team was a large, predominantly White institution in the Northeastern part of the United States, and the committee’s focus was primarily on the enrollment inequities within the graduate school where this study commenced. The committee met once a month for a year, discussing issues related to race and equity using disaggregated data sets by race that focused on admissions and enrollment. The GET REAL team also considered various scholarly articles, videos, and images related to race and racial issues in efforts to better understand the concept of equity-mindedness, and how to use such a concept in practice, particularly as related to approaching the resolution of the existing racial enrollment inequities.
The five main themes that emerged include: the GET REAL team displayed, through words and actions, equity-minded ideals as consistent with Bensimon (2007) and the USC CUE (2016); the GET REAL team functioned primarily as a learning group; the designed group component of the GET REAL team was an important and contributing factor to the group’s overall functionality and purpose; the equity-minded dialogue within the monthly team meetings was often in contrast to the deficit-minded dialogue in the outside presentations; and White people can, should, and need to engage in racial justice work. Implications for research and practice are offered.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Sikora, Maggiemjs169@pitt.edumjs169
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairGarcia, Ginaggarcia@pitt.eduggarcia
Committee MemberDelale-O'Connor, Lorilori.delale-oconnor@pitt.eduloridoc
Committee MemberJennifer, Russelljrussel@pitt.edujrussel
Date: 29 August 2017
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 26 April 2017
Approval Date: 29 August 2017
Submission Date: 3 July 2017
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 127
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: equity-mindedness; Black graduate students; Latina/o graduate students; equitable enrollments; best recruitment practices; graduate student inequities
Date Deposited: 29 Aug 2017 23:41
Last Modified: 29 Aug 2017 23:41


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