Talent, Innovation, and Equity (“TIE”) Partnership
The Oregon HECC is advancing work supported by a $689,000 Talent, Innovation, and Equity (“TIE”) partnership grant awarded in 2018 from Lumina Foundation to help eliminate disparities in postsecondary success rates between Oregon’s overall student population and historically underrepresented students of color. The grant supports a suite of state leadership activities aimed to improve postsecondary success in Oregon for African-American, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American/Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander learners, with a particular focus on adult learners of color.
Upon receiving this grant, Oregon was described as poised for this important work, with one of the most ambitious state goals for improving educational attainment in the nation, and a high-reaching companion goal for the education of adult Oregonians. In addition to the overall focus on eliminating gaps for students of color, Oregon’s TIE grant includes additional support to allow the state to join a cohort of Adult Promise states that have pledged to help more adults earn degrees.
Components of this project include the following.
Equity Leadership and Community Engagement:
The HECC is convening an Equity Leadership Council (ELC), a diverse and well-rounded group of equity ambassadors from educational institutions, community organizations, tribal agencies, and government partners to help our efforts to close equity disparities and increase degree attainment among our underserved populations. Within the ELC, we are identifying “Equity Champions” to join us in advocating for equity reform through relationship building and community engagement across the state. In Fall 2019, our Equity Champions are joining us in hosting numerous roundtable meetings with diverse communities statewide.
Focus Group Research:
In addition to the formation of the Council, HECC is embarking on focus group research to determine the barriers to enrollment and completion facing adults from underrepresented populations in Oregon, and develop the strategies and messages needed to support their re-engagement in education and training.
Fostering Promising Practices:
Fostering promising practices among Oregon’s postsecondary institutions and partners will be an upcoming focus of the grant activities. The HECC plans to identify and support higher education institutions and/or institutional leaders that are willing to undertake promising practices in support of students of color, including through the engagement of culturally-specific community organizations, and elevating these institutions as exemplars within the state.
Communicating Equity Needs:
In addition, the HECC plans to develop educational communications that clearly articulate Oregon’s history, rationale, and objectives for equity in postsecondary education, and publicly recognize promising work statewide to close equity gaps.