Using Data to Fuel Inclusive Excellence at Virginia Tech

May 25, 2021

Authors: Jill Sible, Erica Echols, Kasey Richardson, and Hao Wang

In Fall 2020, ATI convened 37 of its member institutions from across the country to launch an academic equity community of practice, devoted to promoting more equitable academic communities at a time of widening inequities.

As a part of this community of practice, ATI has launched a case study series to highlight the data-driven strategies members nationwide are adopting to advance this work. The first installment, Using Data to Advance Inclusive Excellence in STEM, highlights Virginia Tech’s efforts to improve success for marginalized and minoritized students in STEM fields.

With the support of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Inclusive Excellence Initiative, Virginia Tech has launched a multi-year, cohort-based initiative to empower individual STEM departments to use data to ensure more widespread, equitable student success. In addition to sharing more details about this program, the brief outlines the lessons learned from this process, including:

  • The opportunity to use student success data to facilitate learning and buy-in among faculty
  • The importance of engaging faculty in a collaborative, iterative process to identify the highest-impact areas for intervention
  • The value of incorporating and empowering student and faculty voices through robust, qualitative data collection and evaluation

These insights have helped Virginia Tech equitably redesign curricula and empower faculty across its STEM departments to regularly discuss and implement equity-focused changes.

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