Lane Community College to participate in Data Equity Fellowship

August 10, 2022
2022-08-10 Blaine Szabady and Thomas

EUGENE, Ore. — Three experts in data analytics and institutional research from Lane Community College are participating in the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) Data Equity Fellowship for the next 12 months. Patrick Blaine, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Institutional Effectiveness will be joined by Gina Szabady, Technical Writer and Writing Program Coordinator, and Cathy Thomas, LCC’s Institutional Researcher.

Blaine said his interest in the fellowship came from a desire to “strengthen my skills and knowledge in institutional research, and to join a nationwide group of professionals working on the cutting edge of harnessing data to improve student outcomes and reduce equity gaps. I want LCC to be a part of that conversation and to be a regional leader.”

The Data Equity Fellowship is a partnership between NWCCU and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) with about 200 participants to bridge the data and equity roles in higher education. In addition to working with experts, fellows participate in monthly meetings with national experts in data equity and diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as work in small teams of institutional partners to produce a final project advancing their institution’s mission-aligned goals to improve equitable outcomes, according to the NWCCU website.

The process will result in a still to be designed project that will impact enrollment once implemented. “Our tentative plan is to work on the confluence of equity gaps, enrollment, and workforce readiness in conjunction with a number of other ongoing projects and proposals at LCC,” Blaine explained. “The larger end effect should be to strengthen our institutional infrastructure to more fully utilize data to make informed decisions and promote student success and improved outcomes.”

As a fellow in the program, Blaine said he will provide leadership support for a related project for college-wide implementation. “Gina and Cathy have worked for years on tightening the institution's ability to measure effectiveness and mission fulfillment. This project gives us a chance to work on creating more direct change and improvement of the educational environment.”

Brett Rowlett, Executive Director of External Affairs

Lane Community College educates over 25,000 students annually at six locations across Lane County and online. Students and alumni from all 50 states and 79 countries create more than an $850 million dollar impact on the local economy, helping to support more than 13,000 local jobs. Lane provides affordable, quality, professional technical and college transfer programs; business development and employee training; academic, language and life skills development; and lifelong personal development and enrichment courses.