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Race-Ethnicity Resurvey Frequently Asked Questions

  • Introduction

    For the next several weeks, you’ll notice a race and ethnicity survey appears when you log into myAVC. The federal government has adopted changes to the way that race and ethnicity data is collected. This change allows individuals to more accurately identify themselves. Accurate race and ethnicity data is critically important to ensuring equal opportunity environments and assessing diversity. It only takes a moment to update your information—AVC encourages all faculty, students, and staff to do so. AVC has assembled this FAQ for those who desire to learn more about the resurvey.

  • What are the federally mandated race and ethnicity categories?

    The categories are:

    Do you consider yourself to be Hispanic/Latino?
    _ Yes _ No

    In addition, select one or more of the following racial categories to describe yourself:
    _ American Indian or Alaska Native
    _ Asian
    _ Black or African American
    _ Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
    _ White

  • Why am I being asked to identify my race and ethnicity again?

    The federal government required all educational institutions to change how race and ethnicity data is collected and reported. The resurvey of continuing students, faculty, and staff is conducted to acquire data utilizing the new categories. To ensure that everyone has the opportunity to identify him or herself more accurately, the data are being recollected. You will note that when you access your survey, information you previously reported may appear. You have the chance to make changes or keep it the same.

  • How do I access the race and ethnicity survey?

    Survey can be found myAVC.

  • Must AVC change its current race and ethnicity collection and reporting categories?

    Yes. The changes are mandated by the federal government.

  • What are the major changes?

    The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) requires educational institutions to use a two-part question. The first question is whether the respondent is Hispanic/Latino. The second question asks the respondent to identify one or more races with which he or she identifies. Currently, the University collects information using a one-part question and does not give individuals the opportunity to identify with more than one race.

    The DOE's final guidance requires separating the category "Asian or Pacific Islander" into two separate categories, one for "Asian" and one for "Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander" and broadens the definition for "Native American and Alaska Native" to include original peoples of North and South America (including Central America).

    Thus, when you complete your survey, you have the opportunity to make changes in accord with the above.

  • For employees, is AVC required to report this information for EEO purposes to the Department of Labor

    Yes, the Department of Labor requires AVC to report this information for all employees and does not allow a value of "unknown." Therefore, when federal requirements do not allow unknowns in a reporting category, we will use an appropriate methodology, which may include visual identification, to allocate the unknowns. However, we will not change the banner demographic data – we will only change how we do that report.

  • Will my name be included when reporting race and ethnicity data?

    No. Names are never reported. Only aggregate data is reported.

  • Why is Hispanic/Latino asked separately from the racial categories?

    Race and Hispanic origin are considered to be two separate and distinct categories by the federal government. Hispanic origin data are to be collected separately from race because in the federal statistical system ethnic origin is considered to be a separate concept from race, requiring the two-question format for collecting race and ethnicity data.

  • Are individuals required to participate in the two-part question?

    No, the federal guidance strongly encourages "self-identification" of race and ethnicity for postsecondary education. However, the standards will continue to allow for observer identification for employers to fulfill federal compliance requirements.

  • If a person selects more than one race on the collection instrument how are they reported?

    If they select the Hispanic or Latino ethnicity they will be reported as Hispanic or Latino regardless of the number of races they select. If they select not Hispanic or Latino and select two or more races they will be reported in the Two or More Races column. However, the institution must keep all their individual responses.

  • If a person responds "Yes" to "Hispanic/Latino," should he/she also answer the race question?

    Yes, even though they will be reported in the Hispanic/Latino column.

  • If a respondent does not answer the Hispanic/Latino question but does answer the race question, how is he/she reported?

    The respondent is reported based on his/her response to the race question, which by default assumes a No response to the Hispanic or Latino question.

  • What will happen to my record if I do not complete the survey asking for my race and ethnicity in the new categories?

    AVC will transition your current race and ethnic information in Banner into the new categories using the following conversion table:

    Old Value New Value
    Hispanic Hispanic or Latino
    American Indian American Indian or Alaskan Native
    African American/Black Black or African American
    Asian/Pacific Islander Asian
    White, Non-Hispanic White
    Unknown Unknown
  • Are persons from Spain considered to be of Hispanic ancestry?

    It is up to the individual to self-identify, however, persons from Spain are to be categorized as Hispanic.

  • How long are educational institutions required to keep the original individual responses from students and staff?

    Institutions are required to keep the individual responses for a minimum of three years for race and ethnic categories and subcategories.

  • Why is this information needed?

    In the last few decades, the demographics of our society have changed significantly. As a result, the federal government issued new race and ethnicity reporting categories that allow students and employees to describe who they are in a more accurate manner. This information is also used for funding and civil rights compliance. The U.S. Census first utilized these new categories in 2000. Health agencies have completed adoption in their data collections. The Federal Equal Opportunities Commission (EEOC) began collecting data using these categories in 2007, and education institutions now follow.

Last updated: July 9, 2015