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The Quality Assurance Funding (formerly named Performance Funding), 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.
QAF standards and assessments address general education outcomes, program accreditation and peer review, major field assessment, student satisfaction, job placement, student success, institutional and state planning goals, and improvement implementation.
|Quality Assurance Funding Standards||Maximum
|I. Student Learning and Engagement|
|General Education Assessment||15||15|
|Major Field Assessment||15||15|
|Academic Programs: Accreditation & Evaluation||15||12|
|Institutional Satisfaction Study||10||10|
|Adult Learner Success||10||10|
|Tennessee Job Market Graduate Placement||10||10|
|II. Student Access and Success|
|Student Access and Success||25||25|
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.
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.
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.
A major field will be considered successful if the assessment score is either at or above the comparison score (national or institutional average). All programs will be reported once during the 2015-20 cycle with the exception of licensure programs. All licensure programs will be reported annually.
This indicator is designed to provide incentives for institutions to achieve and maintain program excellence and accreditation.
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 Program Review or Academic Audit to evaluate nonaccreditable programs.
This indicator is designed to provide incentives for institutions to improve the quality of their undergraduate programs as evaluated by surveys of students at different points in their academic career.
|Cycle Year||Satisfaction Study|
|Year 1: 2015-16||Survey of Entering Student Engagement (SENSE)|
|Year 2: 2016-17||Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE)|
|Year 3: 2017-18||Survey of Entering Student Engagement (SENSE) and
SENSE/CCSSE Qualitative Analysis Report
|Year 4: 2018-19||Survey of Entering Student Engagement (SENSE)|
|Year 5: 2019-20||Comprehensive Satisfaction Study Report|
This standard is designed to incentivize institutions to qualitatively and quantitatively improve services for adult learners. This standard directs institutions to enhance the quality of adult student services in effort to increase the enrollment, retention and completion of adult learners at the institution.
Through an institutional self-assessment and engagement with adult students, institutions will create a plan to address strengths and areas needing improvement in order to develop measureable and achievable objectives to improve the services and experiences of adult students and increase adult student success. Institutions will also be evaluated on their success in improving retention and completion rates for adult learners.
The Tennessee Job Market Graduate Placement standard is designed to provide incentives for community colleges to continue to improve job placement of graduates.
|Cycle Year||Graduates Included in Analysis|
|Year 1: 2015-16||Summer 2013, Fall 2013 and Spring 2014|
|Year 2: 2016-17||Summer 2014, Fall 2014 and Spring 2015|
|Year 3: 2017-18||Summer 2015, Fall 2015 and Spring 2016|
|Year 4: 2018-19||Summer 2016, Fall 2016 and Spring 2017|
|Year 5: 2019-20||Summer 2017, Fall 2017 and Spring 2018|
The Student Access and Success standard is designed to provide incentives for institutions to increase the number of graduates from select focus populations.
An institution will select those focus populations particularly important to the institution’s mission and will measure the quality of services dedicated to those students. The measure of the institutional success will be an increase in the focus population graduation rate.
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