New Method for Reporting on Race and Ethnicity at SMC

One of the most important ways in which Saint Mary’s demonstrates its commitment to inclusive excellence is through the diversity of its community. Beginning last fall, the College began applying a new, federally-mandated method for collecting data and reporting on the racial and ethnic composition of our community. We want to share with you this new methodology and explain how Saint Mary's will be tracking and reporting on our diversity in the years ahead.

The new federal method recognizes the increasing diversity of U.S. citizens and, in particular, the rapid increase in the number of citizens with multiple race or ethnic backgrounds.

Saint Mary’s is implementing this new method, which is reported via the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). The new two-part system allows respondents to report multiple racial and ethnic identifications. SMC’s dual reporting approach will provide both useful comparisons with prior years’ data and a more  complex and nuanced description of the rich diversity of the SMC community.

For example, in the fall 2011 freshmen class, 115 students described themselves as Asian and/or some other race or ethnicity; however, 79 of these students described themselves with the single race of Asian. Both totals are informative about the racial and ethnic makeup of the SMC class of 2015.

For a complete explanation of the two methods of measuring race and ethnicity, along with a detailed breakdown of race and ethnicity among fall 2011 freshmen who enrolled at Saint Mary’s, view this report.

Sam Agronow
Director of Institutional Research