Date of Award


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Education, PhD


School of Educational Studies

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Gwen Garrison

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Dina Maramba

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

June Hilton

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2023 Qiana N Davis


community colleges, data use, equitable outcomes, equity-mindedness, institutional effectiveness, institutional researchers

Subject Categories



The state of California has the largest community college system in the United States with 1.8 million students from diverse backgrounds and 64% percent of students who are economically disadvantaged (California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, 2022; Felix & Castro, 2018). California community colleges also experience inequitable outcomes for racially minoritized students and students who are economically disadvantaged (California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, 2022). McArthur (2016) posits that Offices of Institutional Research (OIR) are also critical in addressing and closing equity gaps. Through interviews with current and former institutional researchers (n=21), this qualitative case study identified environmental influences associated with institutional researchers' (IR) effective use data to address inequitable outcomes for community college students including shifting organizations, leadership influences, interactions with faculty and staff, the power of peers, staffing challenges, emotional intelligence, equity practice growth, peer learning, and advocacy. The conceptual framework for this study integrated Ford’s Living System’s Framework (Ford, 1987), Equity Minded Practitioners (Malcom-Piqueux & Bensimon, 2015), and Bronfenbrenner's (1993) Ecological Systems Theory to provide a lens to view the institutional researcher. It also integrated Berger’s (2000) Five Dimensions of Educational Organization Behavior, Bronfenbrenner's (1993) Ecological Systems Theory, and Smith’s (2020) Framework for Diversity to examine the college, district, or system.  Interviews elicited evidence supporting some elements of each of the frameworks. The top three themes were shifting organizations, leadership influence, and interactions with faculty and staff. Most importantly, the broad theme of the findings suggests that Equity Minded Practitioners practices when applied to institutional researchers included emotional intelligence as an additional element. Among the recommendations identified based on the findings, the most salient recommendation are related to equity-minded senior leaders and institutional researchers. Senior leaders need to allocate sufficient resources for staffing to support equity work in IR offices and to further align their mission statements with the equity plans to support shared responsibility. Institutional researchers need space for peer interactions, support for IR affinity group networks, and learning opportunities to strengthen the development of interpersonal skills to support equity focused conversations.



Included in

Education Commons