The United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, is the first service academy to undergo the Equity Scorecard process developed by the Center for Urban Education at the University of Southern California.
The process involves setting up a team of faculty, administrators, researchers and students to examine an educational institution’s diversity efforts. The Equity Scorecard process involves a cycle of action inquiry, which includes: the identification of racial and ethnic gaps in educational outcomes, inquiry into instructional and academic support practices, purposeful changes in practices and policies based on the results of systematic inquiry, and evaluation of the implemented changes.
The Equity Scorecard for the U.S. Coast Guard Academy revealed that there were racial gaps in graduation and retention rates, grade point averages, and that Black cadets were disciplined more often than White cadets. Over the past few years, no African American cadets received honors in the five core courses taken during their first year on campus.
On a positive note, the study reports that the Class of 2018 will have the highest number of Black graduates in the academy’s history. And the academy now has more African Americans enrolled than at any time in its history.
Rear Admiral James Rendon, superintendent of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, stated that “this project is part of the Academy’s long-term commitment to examine educational outcomes and formulate improvement strategies. We will review the data in the report, along with that from other assessments, identify root causes, examine our policies and practices, and take action to improve them. In the years ahead, we will continue our broad effort to use data to assess and improve our programs.”