Equity-First Technology Solutions Rubric
To help institutions, program administrators, developers, implementers, and funders identify the critical attributes of a postsecondary technology solution or software, we designed an Equity-first Solutions Rubric to determine the degree to which a technology solution is equitable in its design and centers the needs of underrepresented students. It also enables the institution to self-assess the readiness to successfully adopt and integrate a new advising solution in an equity-aligned manner.


EdTech postsecondary solutions often do not adequately consider the needs of underrepresented students. Failure to engage and support these students within the software experience can lead to further marginalization and unequal access to successful outcomes. Without proper attention to their unique challenges, these students are at risk of being overlooked and unsupported in their educational experiences. Unfortunately, institutions, developers, implementers, and funders may lack the necessary data and standards to adequately assess the extent to which an EdTech solution is beneficial for the most underserved students.


We developed a rubric to assess and understand technology solutions' functional elements, features, and functionalities and the institutional readiness to implement and adopt a new solution. It is divided into two halves: Technology Solution Assessment and Institutional Readiness Assessment. This rubric can be used by institutions to assess their readiness to implement and adopt a new tech solution and incorporate learnings into the strategic planning process. The rubric can also guide their purchasing decisions, and help measure the overall efficacy of the solution engendered by the EdTech vendor software they are working with or want to work with.

We tested the applicability of the rubric from the perspectives of both vendors and institutional procurers. Taking on their input, we advanced the rubric to comprehensively include the entire EdTech ecosystem and the interdependence of the EdTech solution and the institutional environment, to ensure a successful and equity-aligned holistic solution


The rubric provides a set of criteria to assess and guide the purchasing decisions of institutions, ensuring that the software solutions used are equitable and effective for underrepresented students. It helps to identify any harmful practices embedded in the software and highlight the characteristics and functions of an equity-aligned solution. By providing critical framing that explains how each attribute of the software directly impacts the students' postsecondary success, the rubric can help institutions assess their readiness and needed scaffolding for adopting a new solution, and prioritize equitable design and integration.

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Paritii served as the equity learning partner to five institutions and the EdTech vendors that support them as part of a consortium aimed at addressing barriers that impede effective and equitable advising solutions at lower-resourced institutions.
To understand the relationships between stakeholders within the software procurement process at Post-Secondary Institutions, we studied the strength of interactions vs the flow of data in Advising software and created a map that helps institutions identify potential gaps in the procurement process.
To aid institutions in procuring the right software, we needed to understand the current procurement process. We interviewed relevant stakeholders to understand what triggers the purchase, what proposal and approval processes are completed prior to the acquisition, and how institutions plan toward integration, monitoring, and assessment of the solution.
‍With the move to Holistic Advising comes even more fragmentation of technology products that help students along their journey. To better understand how technology can enable student success, we interviewed a diverse set of students and advisors to prioritize their use cases and advise institutions on creating a technology procurement roadmap for Advising Software.
In order to create Holistic Advising solutions that enable student success, it is important to ensure that all stakeholders are speaking the same language and have a shared understanding of what this truly means. To facilitate these discussions, we created an Advising Taxonomy that outlines what Holistic Advising means, how it is actualized, who does the advising, and where Advising occurs for students.
The various support systems available to students are critical in enabling their success or failure in their post-secondary education. We created an ecosystem map to understand the human, process, and technological resources students turn to for advice before, during, and after their Post-Secondary journey.
Holistic College Advising is critical to the success of underrepresented students. We interviewed students and Advisors to understand what successful advising means to them, and which elements are most impactful at various points of the journey, in order to help craft meaningful interventions.
We created the first blueprint for equity-first, digital learning solutions. Our solutions have culturally responsive UX/UI analytics, and a product development process like no other. We demonstrate that it is possible to not only close the equity gap using technology, but actually liberate all users from the processes that are holding them back.
Postsecondary education suffers from a “success gap” where specific student profiles are deemed less likely to succeed. We did a root cause analysis of what causes some students to disproportionately fail, withdraw and not complete. We delivered a blueprint to closing the gap using a whole systems approach to academic and social integration.
There is a moral imperative to create products that work for all of us: presently inequity baked into the product development value chain limits the profiles of those who can benefit from innovation. We help our clients to unlock global participation and access, thereby improving their revenues and establishing trust.
We disrupted inequity in the health system, ensuring monoclonal antibody treatment was available to “America’s last mile” during the COVID-19 emergency. Our public health strategy and management approach helped our client to expand their presence in BIPOC and low-income communities.
We created community-responsive COVID-19 vaccine education, and programming for low-income communities. Our customized public health programming increased uptake, restored confidence, and achieved better community health outcomes. We even supported the Biden-Harris Administration’s COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force, helping others to replicate our success.
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