As part of its 2020 Standards for Accreditation and Eligibility Requirements, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) is committed to the use of disaggregated data- and evidence-informed continuous improvements to help promote student achievement and close barriers to academic excellence and success, i.e., close equity gaps.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion


Diversity refers to the traits and characteristics that make people unique, including the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies.

The words equity and equality are often used interchangeably, but there is a distinction. Equity is concerned with justice and fairness of policies. Equality, in contrast, refers to the legal, moral, and political opportunities afforded people of all races. Both equity and equality are critically important components of diversity and inclusion.

Inclusion refers to the behaviors and social norms that ensure people feel welcome, appreciated and valued as members of their communities.



According to the Center on Urban Education, equity-mindedness refers to the perspective or mode of thinking exhibited by practitioners who call attention to patterns of inequity in student outcomes. These practitioners are willing to take personal and institutional responsibility for the success of their students, and critically reassess their own practices. It also requires that practitioners are race-conscious and aware of the social and historical context of exclusionary practices in American Higher Education

Source: Center for Urban Education

Equity Resources


NWCCU recognizes that closing equity gaps involves the critical and interrelated components of diversity, equity, inclusion and cultivating equity-mindedness. To assist in this transformational work, we have curated an Equity Resource Library, organized by the twenty transformation areas visualized below. Each heading below will take you to a pre-curated set of resources in the selected transformation area.

Equity & Equity-Mindedness

Webinars & Videos


Student Success

AANHPI Student Success

Black Student Success

Latinx Student Success

Native American & Alaska Native Student Success



Faculty & Instruction

Anti-Racism Resources



Evaluation & Assessment




Organizational Learning & Leadership

More Coming Soon

NWCCU’s efforts to promote student success and close equity gaps is supported by funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This page provides resources and tools in support of NWCCU’s work to close equity gaps at all of its member institutions.