At EMA, we are deeply committed to creating and demonstrating an impactful commitment to guiding principles for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging that serve the independent school community. From ensuring EMA’s enrollment tools are equitable and serve the diverse needs of all populations to enhancing processes that support diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in the EMA employee life cycle (and in all EMA’s tools and services) as well as expanding advocacy activities that enhance independent schools’ public trust and goodwill.
As social justice movements continue to gain momentum, it grows increasingly clear that unrepresented students of color, students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, or those who may be entering schools with heteronormative communities want more than to be simply represented in the numbers.
Admission directors, their extended administrative school partners and faculty must work to ensure that students and their families feel fully and meaningfully integrated into the community, while at the same time ensuring that the school’s mission is met.
To support this important work and address critical questions raised by its members, EMA established its DEIJ Think Tank in 2021. This is a diverse, member-led group of experts from schools and access organizations across the United States and Canada who are involved in DEIJ work through a range of roles.
EMA is committed to creating an inclusive community for our members, families, and students. To support this goal, EMA enhanced how we collect data on our platforms.
Starting August 1, 2022 families and students can now select expanded options for non-binary gender, race, and ethnicity.
These changes are a continuation of a mindful integration that began with last year’s introduction of the Mx. prefix options.
After receiving guidance from outside experts, EMA aligned with U.S. Census and National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) standards for the collection of the data to improve consistency with national standards.
We also worked closely with the enrollment management software providers that integrate with EMA products to understand their requirements and ensure they will be prepared to adopt our new data fields.
Through these steps, our goal is to ensure our schools receive more comprehensive data that will support their needs. Regardless of whether schools receive the data from the integration partners or the EMA Member Access Portal, all can obtain the new data in the PDF and CSV files accurately and consistently.
Parents and students can now share more specific demographic information with schools when creating their account on the EMA family portal using the following new and updated fields:
- Parent and Student Pronouns
- Sex at Birth
- First Language
- Faith-Based Affiliations
The newly expanded options also will enable families to self-select their school-gender preferences and feel better represented in SAO applications, SSAT and Snapshot reporting, and the Student Prospect Lists.