February 2023

IDEA Newsletter

IDEA Newsletter


We recently came across a term that resonated with us as we were outlining this edition of the IDEA Newsletter – “Anecdotal Opinions of Reputation.” The term was referring to a trend in higher ed for stakeholders’ declarations of what their institution does best or is well-known to be shown as untrue through data research. The article on marketing ended by stating that “Marketing programs built on gut instinct, creative energy, and past experience alone are not as effective as those that are research and data-driven.” The takeaways were that data informs strategic decisions and addresses tactical issues.

The next two IDEA Newsletters will focus on who’s in our community using data collected over the past 5 years and provide information on how Scripps is collecting new, relevant, and actionable data about the needs and preferences of the campus community. This month we provide a snapshot of the student community, spotlighting Black/African American and Latinx identifying students.

Focus on Data

In this issue, we asked Director of Assessment and Institutional Research Eulena Jonsson about the importance of collecting data.

Why and How Does Scripps Collect Data? 

“I’m a fan of defining terms to make sure we’re all interpreting them in the same way, and when I think of “student data” I picture information that gives insight into Scripps student experiences and that directs actions aimed to positively impact students. Defining student data helps our data collection efforts to make sense — my office, the Assessment and Institutional Research team, connects and collaborates with offices and stakeholders across the university including but not limited to the Registrar, Admissions, Financial Aid, and Student Affairs offices and centers, to gather and calculate student information that’s reported internally and externally. We reach out to students too through surveys such as the Incoming, Your First College Year, Senior, and Alumnae surveys, with our goal being to collect as many student perspectives as possible to let us dig deeper into how students experience Scripps: what is done very well so we can celebrate, and to identify where needs exist so we can enhance. Valuable data worth collecting = accurate, actionable information.”

Building the Student Community

We asked Vice President for Enrollment Victoria Romero about her role and how self-reporting of race and ethnic identity has changed over time.

What is the role of an enrollment leader in building a class?

“In my role, I lead and manage the strategic direction and administrative oversight of admission and financial aid to meet institutional mission and priorities. Data helps to inform planning, decisions, questions, and anticipate trends.”

How has self-reporting of race and ethnic identity changed over time?

“Since 2015 the percentage of applicants that identify as Asian/Asian American, Black/African American, Latinx or two races has increased significantly. The largest increase of 89% is in the students that identified two or more races.”

Who Is in Our Community?

As stated by Victoria Romero above, the number of students identifying as two or more races has grown considerably in recent years. While this reflects a greater recognition of student’s intersectionality, it also requires careful analysis. Early iterations of surveys offering the two or more races category did not provide disaggregated data for students to describe their multiple identities. Fortunately, students can now select as many races as is appropriate, providing a richer picture of who is in our community. The table shows the self-reported student population demographics from 2018-2022. At first glance, it looks like our Black and Latinx populations have been static over these years. However, many of the students reporting two or more races include Black and Latinx students. For example, more than 50% of the Black-identifying students at Scripps report being two or more races.

The overall graduation rates across racial identities are similar pre-pandemic and in 2022. However, it is clear that the drop in this percentage during the pandemic was more significant for our Black, Latinx, and two or more races populations. While we are pleased to see all of the graduation rates increasing toward pre-pandemic levels, this information requires us to do more to understand the hardships faced by our minoritized students and to develop policies and practices that better support them.

Finally, we provide data in context with our peer institutions. Demographically, we are similar to both peer liberal arts and peer women’s colleges in percentages of Latinx students but we are below their percentages in Black identifying students. However, this is partly explained in that we are the only ones growing in percentages of students self-identifying as two or more races and from above, we know that a number of these students identify as Black. With regards to graduation rates, we were more successful than our peers prior to the pandemic and through 2020 but do show lower 6-year graduation rates in 2021 (the entering lass of 2015). This drop in graduation rates is more pronounced in our students who identify as Black, Latinx and two or more races, suggesting we still have work to do to support these populations who were more severely impacted during the Covid lockdown.

All of the above reinforces our need to hear directly from students about their experiences. The goal is to increase student participation in surveys and other forms of data collection to understand what is working well and replicate it and what is not working well so support can be enhanced.


Congratulations to the 2023 Racial Justice and Equity Fellowship Awardee:
Sydney Nemet. Quilting in the Filipino-American community: gathering oral histories surrounding textiles about lived and Intergenerational experiences

Upcoming Events

Look for information coming soon on collaborative events where you can have your voice heard!

Black History Month

As Black History Month concludes, we leave you with a quote from Michelle Obama:

History has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.

Scripps Resources

Advisors, Deans, Advocates

Primary Contact Dean (PCD)
First-Generation@Scripps Program

Academic Resources

Academic Resources and Services
Disability Services-Academic Accommodations
Claremont Colleges Library (Honnold Mudd Library)
Denison Library
Office of Dean of Faculty
Study Abroad and Global Education

7C Resources

Campus Safety
Chicano Latino Student Affairs (CLSA)
Claremont Colleges Library
Claremont University Consortium (CUC)
Eating Disorder Task Force
EmPOWER Center
Health Education Outreach (HEO)
Huntley Bookstore
LiveSafe App
Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services (MCAPS)
Office of Black Student Affairs (OBSA)
Student Disability Resource Center
Student Health Insurance Plan
Student Health Services
Queer Resource Center (QRC)

IDEA Website