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The Performance Funding Program, coordinated by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, is an incentive-based funding initiative for public higher education that financially rewards exemplary institutional performance on selected measures of effectiveness. Public institutions can earn up to 5.45% of their state operating appropriations.
Performance funding standards and assessments address general education outcomes, program accreditation and peer review, major field assessment, student/alumni/employer satisfaction, job placement, retention/graduation, institutional and state planning goals, and improvement implementation. The program is administered on five-year cycles; this current cycle covers 2005-06 through 2009-10.
|STANDARD ONE - Student Learning Environment and Outcomes||Possible Points||Points Awarded|
|Standard 1.A:||Student Learning - General Education||15||15|
|Standard 1.B:||Student Learning - Major Field Assessment||10||10|
|Standard 1.C.1:||Accreditation - Academic Programs||5||5|
|Standard 1.C.2:||Undergraduate Program Review||5||5|
|STANDARD TWO - Student Satisfaction|
|Standard 2.A:||Alumni Survey||10||10|
|STANDARD THREE - Student Persistence|
|Standard 3.A:||Retention and Persistence||5||4|
|Standard 3.B:||Student Success||5||5|
|Standard 3.C:||Student Persistence Planning Initiative||5||5|
|STANDARD FOUR - State Master Plan Priorities|
|Standard 4.A:||Institutional Strategic Planning||5||5|
|Standard 4.B:||State Strategic Planning||10||10|
|Standard 4.C:||Job Placement||10||10|
|STANDARD FOUR - Assessment Outcomes|
|Standard 5.A:||Assessment Pilot||5||5|
|Standard 5.B:||Assessment Implementation||10||10|
Student Learning - General Education
Purpose: This standard is designed to provide incentives to institutions for improvements in the quality of their undergraduate general education program as measured by the performance of graduates on an approved standardized test of general education.
Evaluation: Foundation testing is measured by the overall performance (mean score) of an institution. National norms will be drawn from the same population as the institution, e.g., for two-year institutions, the national norm will be drawn from all two-year institutions utilizing the particular instrument chosen by the institution.
Student Learning - Major Field Assessment
Purpose: This indicator is designed to provide incentives for institutions to improve the quality of major field programs as evaluated by the performance of graduates on approved examinations.
Evaluation: A major field will be considered successful if the test score is either at or above a recognized norm or shows improvement over the institution’s most recent test score (or a baseline score for new tests). All programs will be reported once during the five-year cycle with the exception of licensure programs. All licensure programs will be reported annually.
Standard 1.C.1, and
Accreditation of Academic Programs
Undergraduate Program Review
Purpose: These assessment indicators are designed to provide incentives for institutions to achieve and maintain program excellence and accreditation.
Evaluation: For those programs that are accreditable, evaluation will be based on the percentage of eligible programs which are accredited. For those programs that are non-accreditable, evaluation will be based on a set of objective standards. All institutions with the exception of University of Memphis and UT Knoxville must evaluate each non-accreditable program at least once during the five year performance funding cycle. University of Memphis and UT Knoxville are required to evaluate their programs on a seven-year and 10-year cycle, respectively.
CCSSE/Alumni/Employer Satisfaction Survey
Purpose: This indicator is designed to provide incentives for institutions to improve the quality of their undergraduate programs as evaluated by surveys of undergraduate students, recent graduates, and regional and/or national employers of recent graduates.
Evaluation: In the 1st and 4th year of the cycle, institutions will administer a national student engagement survey to a representative sample of undergraduate students. In the 2nd and 5th year of the cycle, institutions will administer the Alumni Survey to all alumni who graduated two years before the survey is administered. In the 3rd year of the cycle, institutions must survey their local, regional, and national employers as applicable. The information gained from all three of these surveys will allow institutions to have a better gauge of internal and external perceptions of their various clientele groups.
Standard 3.A, and
Retention and Persistence
Standard 3.B, and
Student Persistence Planning Initiative
Purpose: These assessment indicators are designed to provide incentives for community colleges to improve the quality of their programs as evaluated by targeting specific strategies that contribute to students’ success in achieving their educational goals.
Evaluation: Evaluation will be accomplished by comparing community college rates to national rates measured by the National Community College Benchmark project (www.nccbp.org). Community colleges will use selected measures related to student retention and graduation and appropriate to their mission.
Institutional Strategic Planning
Purpose: This indicator is designed to provide incentives for institutions to improve the quality of their academic programs and services by evaluating progress toward specific goals contained in their institutional strategic plan
Evaluation: Institutions have set strategic planning goals for 2005-2010. Standard 4A asks institutions to declare 2-4 measurable objectives supporting one or more of the institution’s approved strategic goals for improving the quality of academic programs and services. At a minimum, therefore, an institution will declare two measurable objectives for a single strategic planning goal; or, the institution may place the 2-4 objectives under 1-4 different goals. Success will be measured by benchmark attainment for the declared objectives.
State Strategic Planning
Purpose: This standard is designed to provide incentives for institutions to improve the quality of their academic programs and services by evaluating progress toward specific goals contained in the state strategic master plan, “Creating Partnerships for a Better Tennessee: The 2005-2001 Master Plan for Tennessee Higher Education.”
Evaluation: The Master Plan goals are established and are listed below. Institutions will declare 4-8 measurable objectives supporting at least one goal from each of the four priority areas: Partnerships for (1) Access, (2) Student Preparation, (3) Affordability, and (4) Educational Excellence. The institution shall, at a minimum, declare 4 objectives, one for each of the 4 priority areas.
Purpose: The job placement standard is designed to provide incentives for community colleges to continue to improve job placement of their career program graduates.
Evaluation: Each major field career programs (technical certificate and A.A.S.) will be evaluated by the placement rate of its graduates.
Purpose: Pilot projects throughout the history of the performance funding program have allowed institutions the flexibility to explore various assessment initiatives. For the 2005-10 cycle, the focus of the Assessment Pilot standard will be devoted exclusively to the collection and usage of the National Study of Instructional Costs and Productivity (Delaware Study) and the National Study of Community College Instructional Costs and Productivity (Kansas Study). This indicator is designed to provide incentives for institutions to use national benchmarking data in making institutional resource decisions.
Evaluation: Community colleges must utilize the Kansas Study and universities must use the Delaware I Study.
Purpose: This indicator is designed to provide incentives for institutions to incorporate information obtained through institutional assessment activity which may include Performance Funding-related assessment into their Quality Enhancement Plans (QEP). The new accreditation reaffirmation process of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) requires an institution to focus on a campus-determined course of action to improve student learning -- a Quality Enhancement Plan -- that is forward-looking, transformative, and based on external and internal measures. The QEP makes enhancement of student learning an ongoing rather than an episodic process, and enhancement of student learning is certainly not limited to the duration of a single QEP. Focused enhancement of student learning should be continuous as institutions are at all times engaged in various stages of one or more Quality Enhancement Plans. In many respects, the success of a QEP is a measure of the maturity and effectiveness of the institution’s strategic planning, resource allocation, and assessment capabilities.
This Performance Funding indicator is not intended as an evaluation of the caliber and strength of an institution’s QEP; instead, it is an evaluation of the institution’s processes for using assessment results, particularly those related to Performance Funding, to define and sustain the QEP. It is important to remember that the outcome of this Performance Funding evaluation should not be expected to influence the SACS peer review of the QEP.
Evaluation: Holistic evaluation training will be provided for two evaluator panels, one for community colleges and a second for universities, to ensure consistency in application of standard criteria to the review of annual reports. Training will occur prior to Year 1 evaluations, before Year 2 evaluation, and before Year 5 evaluation. (Refer to calendar section for outline of training sessions.) The panels will be constituted from a pool of individuals nominated by their presidents and selected by their governing board staff.