Civil Rights Demographics Reporting
What should I report
Extension is required to collect information on the race, ethnicity and gender of participants in direct education activities.
Why we track this
Extension services are required by USDA/NIFA to ensure equitable access to federally funded services in compliance with the Civil Rights Act. This information also helps us ensure that we are making progress on Extension and College of ACES strategic goals related to diversity, equity and inclusion.
Where and how do I report it?
Collecting demographic information
Participants may be requested to provide voluntary demographic information through various ways. Note that NIFA guidance is that "visual estimates" are not acceptable as this makes assumptions about participant demographic characteristics.
- Civil Rights block in EWM registration system
- Hard copy forms for in-person programs. Demographic forms are available in English and Spanish.
- Zoom or webtools registration (use of EWM is preferred)
- Zoom polls
- PEARS (see How-To Attach Demographic Survey in PEARS Program Activity) Can be used to auto-populate the demographics screen in PEARS
Existing records can sometimes be used to report participant demographics
- Reference publicly available school-level demographics for programs delivered in a K-12 setting and apply proportionately to participants. See Illinois State Board of Education Illinois Report Card
Do not collect in a way that publicly discloses demographics of an individual (e.g. sign in sheet).
Do not collect from minors without parent/guardian consent.
While the NIFA required categories within race, ethnicity, and gender must be used, additional categories may be added (e.g. "gender not listed"). All responses from additional categories will be reported to NIFA in the "unidentified/unknown" category, according to NIFA reporting requirements.
Demographic information for direct education activities is reported in PEARS. The PEARS demographic format currently differs from Civil Rights summaries available from EWM. The demographics reporting worksheet can be used to convert categories from EWM to PEARS.
For programs where not everyone registered attends, such as large webinars, report number of participants and demographics for attendees. Demographic information collected at registration may be used proportionately to the share of those registered that attended. The demographics reporting worksheet also can be used as a tool to convert demographics data from ewm civil rights summaries to PEARS reporting format.