AASCU Innovations Exchange
Your Source for innovation in Public Higher Education
Accountability and Advocacy
Grand Valley State University
Grand Valley State University has found a comprehensive and effective way to illustrate how the university is a good steward of taxpayer, donor and student financial resources while achieving exceptional results. Government officials, journalists, donors and students benefit from the information. The institution’s efforts began with an Accountability Report that was printed and posted online. It received national recognition from CASE as a best practice. The university has expanded from that to a full website, www.gvsu.edu/accountability, complete with a Dashboard report, a “cost reduction efforts” talking points card and six categories that illustrate Grand Valley’s resourcefulness and success.
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Degree Attainment Efficiency Measure
Purdue University Calumet
In order to compile a more complete picture of degree production at colleges and universities than is provided by the traditional, yet highly imperfect “six year graduation rate, a measure is needed that incorporates all graduates—not only those from the first-time, full-time cohort. Degree Attainment Efficiencyis a measure that includes all of the following student populations: full-time and part-time students, as well as those who attended a single institution, those who transferred in, those who began enrollment during any semester, and those who took more than six years to complete their baccalaureate degrees. Efficiency, as it relates to this measure, is defined as the number of graduates produced annually in relation to the size of the college or university’s undergraduate enrollment (FTE), indexed against a standard of perfect efficiency. A perfectly efficient baccalaureate degree granting college or university would admit 25% of its FTE each year and graduate 25% of its FTE each year. This idealized model is based on the recognition that typical baccalaureate degrees are created as four year plans of study. The Degree Attainment Efficiency Measure involves a simple calculation: (Degree Attainment Efficiency = [Graduates per year / undergraduate FTE] x 4). Applying this formula to Purdue University Calumet in 2010: Degree Attainment Efficiency = 55.9%, compared to a six-year graduation rate in the same year of 28%.This Degree Attainment Efficiency Measure provides an alternative, complementary metric that institutions can use to demonstrate productivity, accountability and the value of public investment in state postsecondary institutions.
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New Jersey College Promise Action Network
New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities (NJASCU)
Since 2009, the project is a website and email-based advocacy program to educate and engage citizens supporting the New Jersey state colleges and universities on policy issues affecting public higher education, facilitate voluntary communication with their elected officials about policy priorities, and inform them of policy actions related to college access, affordability and capacity.The Network evolved from recommendations of NJ Association of State Colleges and Universities’ (NJASCU) NJ College Promise project (2008), with the input of top national and state advisors, on how to make our colleges a higher public priority, aligned with a public agenda.Currently, about 9,000 individuals have signed up with the Network. The advocacy program is sophisticated, allowing extensive analysis of email messages sent to elected officials broken down by college, type of constituency and legislative district. The Network is supported by its own website, separate from the Association’s. The add-on cost for the system and special grassroots consulting is about $45,000 (first year) and $30,000 (successive years).
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