Program-level Assessment Capacity Enrichment for Equity

What is PACE4Equity?

Creating equitable learning environments for ALL students is a collective responsibility at UC Davis. 

Program-Level Assessment Capacity Enrichment for Equity (PACE4Equity) is a year-long cohort-based coaching program for faculty-led teams from undergraduate academic departments. Monthly workshops create opportunities for hands-on peer-group collaboration to develop and implement sustainable, meaningful, and equity-focused, program-level assessment of student learning.

Assessment as a Tool for Equity

The Program-Level Assessment Capacity Enrichment for Equity (PACE4E) initiative aligns with the university's strategic plan--with an emphasis on advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. PACE4E is among the first UC Davis programs to be affiliated with the Institute for Diversity, Equity and Advancement (IDEA) for its focus on equity-centered assessment of student learning.

Through active participation in PACE4Equity, faculty-led teams from departments / programs can concurrently:

  • enact their commitment to equity in courses and programs; 
  • develop capacity in ten of the essential skills required to implement intentional, equitable, meaningful, and utilization-focused assessment of student learning; and
  • develop capacity to document those equity-minded assessment practices in their program review self-study reports.

(It's a win-win-win!)  

Why PACE4Equity?

The ways in which we ask students to demonstrate their learning have consequences for equity.

The PACE4Equity coaching program invites faculty-led teams to join other equity-minded colleagues who are interested in developing, adapting, and/or adopting concrete strategies to ensure their students have equitable opportunities to demonstrate their learning.

Faculty members from the 2020 cohort answer the "Why PACE4Equity?" question best. 

  • “PACE4E will get you thinking about assessment from start to finish and how to get your program to a place where you can implement assessment effectively and equitably.”
  • “Whether you have a well-established program assessment process setup within your department or you do not know what a performance indicator is, you will find value in [PACE4E]."
  • Participate in PACE4E “if your department/program is serious about assessing your students' learning and is serious about executing a true undergraduate program review.”

PACE4E is organized with two groups in mind

Programs preparing for the Undergraduate Program Review process 

Programs will benefit from starting early to develop and implement meaningful and equitable assessment efforts that yield actionable information about student learning. Programs that join PACE4Equity well before their scheduled program review year will have more time to develop and implement equity-centered assessment practices and processes. In fact, one member of PACE4E 2020 told us: “The cohort should be the cluster going up for review in two years.” 

It's never too early to focus on equity-centered assessment of student learning!

We encourage programs to consider participating regardless of the program review schedule. We aren't the only people recommending that programs start thinking about assessment before the official start of the program review cycle.  

“Probably the most useful and labor intensive part of the review is the assessment section (section 8). It calls for you to summarize and present data from student work and surveys to demonstrate the effectiveness of your program’s learning objectives. We wanted to make you aware of a new program, PACE4E, that is designed to help you with that section. If you’d like to get a head start on updating the assessment practices in your programs, we encourage you to identify a team to work on this section and to encourage them to take advantage of this program.”

Victoria Cross, Associate Professor of Teaching Psychology in the Department of Psychology
and Chair of the Undergraduate Instruction and Program Review Committee

Programs looking for concrete ways to enact a commitment to equity

We designed PACE4Equity for program / department faculty who want to enact their commitment to principles of equity, inclusivity, and diversity through tangible actions that benefit studentsPrograms that are interested in examining the intersections between equity and assessment of student learning will benefit from the conversation and collaboration with like-minded colleagues from across disciplines and Colleges as part of the PACE4Equity community of practice.

Who can participate?

Faculty-led teams from any undergraduate academic program are invited to apply. 

For maximum benefit, teams must includeat least one tenured faculty member and at least one other faculty member. Teams can also include up to four other members (e.g., lecturers, academic staff, undergraduate and graduate students). We strongly recommend including students. 

How does PACE4Equity work?

Monthly workshops create opportunities for hands-on peer-group collaboration to develop and implement sustainable, meaningful, and equity-focused, program-level assessment of student learning. Each 2-hour workshop covers one or more of the essential skills required to implement intentional, equitable, meaningful, and utilization-focused assessment of student learning. Sessions include hands-on learning opportunities for individual teams and activities to work with other. The cohort model brings teams from across campus to share their expertise and learn from others' lived experiences. Members of the 2020 Cohort said:    

  • “The participatory aspect is good and contributes to learning. Activities are well aligned with session goals. Nice to have feedback from workshop instructors and other participating faculty.”
  • “It's nice to talk with people from different departments and hear about the challenges they face as well they the way their programs handle assessment.”

Between workshops, teams consult with their program/department colleagues about goals for student learning, curricular alignment, what counts as evidence of learning, and the other essential equity-centered assessment skills. Participating teams also receive personalized coaching from the Academic Assessment Team at least once per quarter. The time commitment for each team is 6-8 hours per month, including workshops and consultations.

PACE4Equity Scope and Sequence

  • Welcome to PACE4Equity! Kick-off Session
  • Session Topics: What is assessment of student learning? What does an inclusive assessment conversation look like and why does it matter? What are some of the intersections between equity and assessment?
  • Workshop #1 -- Writing & Revising Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)
  • Session Topics: What do we expect students to learn / be able to do by the end of our program? How can we increase equity with our PLOs? 
  • Workshop #2 -- Aligning the Curriculum | Producing & Revising Curriculum Maps
  • Session Topics: How do we sequence opportunities for students to acquire and demonstrate the knowledge and skills targeted? How do we increase equity through thoughtful sequencing? 
  • Workshop #3 -- Determining & Revising Performance Indicators (aka Criteria for Evaluation) 
  • Session Topics: What does learning / acquisition of the targeted knowledge and skills look like in our program? How can we increase equity with our Performance Indicators? 
  • Workshop #4 -- Determining & Revising Performance Levels and Descriptors
  • Session Topics: What are the characteristics of attainment/mastery of the knowledge and skills targeted in our program? How can we increase equity with our Performance Level Descriptors? 
  • Workshop #5 -- Determining & Revising Demonstrations of Learning (Assignment Alignment) 
  • Session Topics: What sources will we use to determine the degree to which student work demonstrates attainment of the PLO? How can we increase equity through our assessments?
  • Workshop #6 -- Setting & Revising Attainment Targets
  • Session Topics: What percentage of students need to demonstrate proficiency in order to consider our program successful? How can we set targets equitably?
  • Workshop #7 -- Collecting Evidence of Learning
  • Session Topics: How do we / will we collect direct (and indirect) evidence of student learning? What are the characteristics of equity-minded data collection?
  • Workshop #8 -- Analyzing Assessment Data
  • Session Topics: What do we do with all this data we just collected? How can we promote equity through data analysis?
  • Workshop #9 -- Using Assessment Results to Make Plans
  • Session Topics: Now that we have the results, what do we do now? What does it mean to “close the loop”? How can we show we did it? What can we do next to sustain or increase equity in our program? 
  • Workshop #10 -- Writing Assessment Narratives
  • Session Topics: How do we explain what we learned in this assessment cycle to our colleagues, students, and other stakeholders? What are our equity successes and challenges?
  • Celebrating Success! Closing Session
  • Session Topics: This is our story. What’s yours?

When does PACE4Equity begin?

The 2021 PACE4Equity cohort begins on September 10, 2021.

How long will PACE4Equity take?

PACE4E can be completed in 12 or 15 (active) months. For more details on the schedule, please scroll down to see the downloadable PDFs. 

  • The schedule for Section #01 is designed specifically for programs in Cluster 1 (AY 2021-2022).
  • The schedule for Section #02 is designed for all other programs.  

Still curious?

Email the A-Team!