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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 2010-11 through 2014-15.
|Possible Points||Points Awarded|
|STANDARD ONE - Quality of Student Learning and Engagement|
|Standard 1A:||General Education Assessment||15||15|
|Standard 1B:||Major Field Assessment||15||15|
|Standard 1C:||Academic Programs: Accreditation & Evaluation||15||15|
|Standard 1D:||Satisfaction Studies (Student Engagement)||10||10|
|Standard 1E:||Job Placement||10||10|
|Standard 1F:||Assessment Implementation||10||8|
|STANDARD TWO - Quality of Student Access and Student Success|
|Standard 2:||Student Access and Student Success||25||25|
General Education Assessment
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.
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.
Academic Programs: Accreditation & Evaluation
Purpose: This assessment indicator is 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. Institutions will have the flexibility to use either the traditional program review or Academic Audit to evaluate non-accreditable programs.
Satisfaction Studies: Student Engagement, Alumni, or Employer
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 year of the cycle, institutions will implement the Alumni Satisfaction Project. In the 3rd year of the cycle, institutions must survey their local, regional, and national employers as applicable. For the final year, institutions will supply evidence of actions taken based on the results of the student, alumni, and employer satisfaction studies. 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.
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 program (technical certificate and A.A.S.) will be evaluated by the placement rate of its graduates.
Purpose: Standard 1F evaluates the maturity and effectiveness of an institution's assessment processes as they relate to one of two types of student learning quality initiatives: (1) an institution-defined Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) in response to SACS reaffirmation processes or (2) an alternate Student Learning Initiative (SLI) focusing on student learning and/or the environment supporting student learning. Maturity and effectiveness of an institution’s assessment processes is shown by the use of what is commonly understood as the assessment process or cycle. That is,
Evaluation: Evaluation training will be provided using the scoring rubric to ensure consistency in application of standard criteria to the review of annual reports. Training will occur prior to Year 1 evaluation by a pool of individuals nominated by their presidents and selected by their governing board staff.
The focus of this standard is to show that the institution is following a mature and sophisticated assessment process while implementing a QEP or SLI. The institution will provide an essay not to exceed 10 double-space pages and
Student Access and Student Success
Purpose: The Student Access and Success standard is designed to provide incentives for institutions to increase the number of graduates from select subpopulations. An institution will select those subpopulations particularly important to the institution’s mission and will measure the quality of its services dedicated to those subpopulations. The measure of the institution’s commitment will be student subpopulation success – greater number enrolled, retained, and graduated.
Evaluation: The comprehensive list of student sub-populations includes those individually identified by institutions as very important to their institutional mission and service area. Data are already available on these populations and institutions will not be obligated to collect additional student information. Institutions will declare a total of five student sub-populations from the following list:
The deadline for submission of selected student sub-populations is November 1, 2010. Sub-population selections must be approved by governing board and Commission staff. Definitions and data sources for student sub-populations can be found in Appendix M.