What is equity? At Los Medanos College (LMC), equity is the shared responsibility for us to create a college that is safe, healthy, and inclusive for all members of the campus community. We work together to build a campus environment that supports each one of our students to bring their strengths, culture, and unique identities and dreams to the campus environment.
To quote LMC’s Jose Pantoja, writing for The Experience (LMC’s student newspaper), he defines equity as:
“At the college level, equity can be roughly defined as the intentional commitment for fair and just treatment of all members of a college community, and inclusion can follow as the strategic integration of equity and diversity in every aspect of higher education.”
How Do Equity and Equality Work Together?
As I read Jose’s definition, I can’t help but think, aren’t equity and equality similar? Equality is a term derived from equal and is often used to promote the idea of fairness or sameness. Los Medanos College practices equality by providing educational access and admission to all students who wish to attend.
Equity builds upon equality by acknowledging diversity and the importance of differences once students come to LMC. Equity strategies provide each student with the tools needed to succeed, even if those tools are different than those used by the student next to them. At first glance, this appears to contradict ideas of fairness and treating everyone the same. However, an equity lens requires that we address both individual differences and systemic differences. For example, the pathway to success may look different for a student for whom English is a second language or a parenting student in need of childcare nearby. A student working full-time may benefit from classes offered nights or weekends. All have similar goals of successfully completing their education at LMC, but their paths are unique.
So what is the practice of diversity and equity at LMC? We work with each of you to provide support for your own unique path at LMC. Equality and equity mean serving East County, and ensuring that student success represents every household in our community.
There are many examples at LMC and here are three we’d like to share with you:
Three Ways LMC Supports Equitable Success
Learning Communities and Leadership Opportunities
LMC has a variety of learning communities dedicated to your success such as Umoja, Puente, MESA, Honors, and the Transfer Academy. Some communities are connected to your area of study while others combine identity-based support with academic excellence. Campus clubs and activities help leaders give back, educate, and foster community and cultural pride.
Smart Classrooms, Smart Support
LMC’s classrooms are equipped with smart technology, designed to support the dynamic ways our faculty engage with our diverse students. Utilizing principles of universal design, we strive to ensure that materials are offered in ways that support different learning styles and learning differences.
Our Center for Academic Support offers peer and faculty tutors in a wide variety of disciplines. Our math, English, English as a second language, and music labs provide focused support opportunities. Finally, Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSPS) partners with students with disabilities to provide advocacy, accommodations and support.
Your Culture and Life Experience are Strengths
At LMC, we acknowledge that all of our students bring the strengths of identity and experience to the campus. You may come to college from a previous career, from military service, from a household where multiple languages are spoken or where you are the first to go to college. At LMC, you will find a variety of people and resources dedicated to support your success.
For more information, visit: www.losmedanos.edu/equity
– Sabrina T. Kwist, EdD