New US System of College Ratings (Obama’s Proposal)

It is finally here! President Obama’s proposed system to rate colleges and universities in the US. Based primarily on educational outcomes and performance metrics, instead of research endeavors, the focus of other national and international rankings, this system will hopefully motivate institutions to look at how well they are serving society through their academic programs.

Review the press release/report which includes metrics proposed here: New college ratings framework-invitation-comment

Press releases:

Washington Post

Inside Higher Ed

US News and World Report

US Proposed HiEd Rating System from the International Perspective

According to this CHE blog post, the US is  not alone. Several countries, among them Ireland, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Portugal, and Sweden, have some sort of government accountability/penalty system for not achieving goals.

Obama’s Rating System_ an International Perspective – WorldWise – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education

University Rankings According to Presidential Criteria

Time magazine has produced an interactive college rankings tool based on criteria in President Barack Obama’s proposal for a federal school rating system.

The adjustable metrics on the Time rankings include graduation rate; accessibility, based on the percentage of students receiving Pell Grants; and affordability, based on the net cost for families with incomes less than $110,000 and that receive financial aid.

When each of the three factors are weighed equally, the top three schools are: the University of California—Riverside; UC San Diego, and CUNY Bernard M Baruch College.

From Education Dive – here.

 

UC Berkeley Campus Climate Survey

UC  Berkeley shared their campus climate survey preliminary findings. The survey was done simultaneously for the first time to students, faculty and staff. Results will establish a baseline for decision-making and improvement. In my opinion, this kind of fact finding activity should be undertaken by all academic institutions. Our first and most important element in any human endeavor and organizations are people – leaders should strive to understand the climate they operate to make it a better place to work and learn.  The complete report can be downloaded  here.

Quality of College Grads Questionable (again)

Only 11% of business leaders “strongly agree” that today’s graduates have the competencies needed, compared to 96% of colleges/universities chief academic officers stating they are “extremely or somewhat confident” in their institution’s ability to prepare students for the work force, according to this CHE article that reflects on a Gallup/Lumina survey. What will it take for universities to listen and change to better serve society?

Higher Edu Quality – Outcomes Need to Go Beyond Financials

Researchers and public officials traditionally focus on how much money recent graduates earn, R&D engagement, etc.  The principal investigator of the College Educational Quality project, a study of two selective, midsize research institutions (one public, the other private) would like to see more outcomes linked to education rather than just economic (or how well recent graduates earn).

I agree! It is not about how grand an institution in terms of how many Nobel laureates it has as professors, or the amount of research expenditures and papers it produces. Neither, how many its graduates earn (this may vary with region and discipline, etc), but whether employers are satisfied with what the graduates know and are able to do with what they know.