Skip to main content

Supporting the Illinois Equity in Attainment Initiative

Happy female classmates wearing casual clothes leaving college. They are walking down the stairs of the faculty building while talking nonchalantly
Using a facilitated collaborative to improve racial equity in higher-education organizations
  • Client
    William T. Grant Foundation
  • Dates
    2021 - 2023


Graduation rates are unequal in higher education.

Countless programs have tried to equalize graduation rates, but most have fallen short. In response, the Partnership for College Completion developed a facilitated collaborative, the Illinois Equity in Attainment Initiative (ILEA). ILEA is dedicated to guiding and supporting colleges and universities in achieving equitable rates of college completion through the development and enactment of equity plans. Comprising 26 public and private, 2- and 4-year institutions, ILEA members enroll 40 percent of all undergraduates in Illinois, including 68 percent of all Latinx undergraduates and 42 percent of all Black undergraduates. NORC received funding from the William T. Grant Foundation to study how colleges and universities can implement organizational change to better support Black and Latinx students’ college completion outcomes.


NORC investigated equity-mindedness in equity plans and their implementation.

NORC conducted comparative, qualitative case studies across 25 percent of ILEA's member institutions over two and a half years. The variation in cases (e.g., 2-year/4-year, public/private, disparities in graduation rates) will enable us to explore how potentially overlooked organizational factors contributed to the choice and spread of policies throughout institutions and the ways a facilitated collaborative supported these efforts.


The study is ongoing.

This study will advance critical and practical insights on what works and why, and on typically invisible organizational practices that contribute to more equitable college outcomes.

Project Lead

Related Tags

Explore NORC Education Projects

2023 American Law School Faculty Study

Reviewing law school policies and understanding the career pathways of law school teaching faculty


Association of American Law Schools

2024 National Survey of Early Care and Education

Examining early care and education after major disruption


Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation in the Department of Health and Human Services