Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965
Mr. Rick Jerue Vice President, Governmental Relations and Corporate Development, Education Management Corporation Supporting Document - Accountibility
Archived Information


The Issue
The Administration has indicated that, just as performance measures were the centerpiece of the recent K-12 reauthorization, it will seek to import into the postsecondary education arena some measure of institutional effectiveness. The Career College Association (CCA) formed a Task Force representative of the full range of CCA member institutions to formulate recommendations for reasonable, workable accountability measures in higher education.

To be most useful to students and parents, accountability standards should be universal, not sector-specific, and should be in the form of measures to be used as enhanced consumer information. This recognizes the key difference between K-12 education and postsecondary education - students have much greater power as consumers to choose the college they will attend.

CCA Proposal:

CCA proposes creating an "Institutional Report Card" based on a general framework with three constituent parts:

  • Input measures to assess the resources and capacity to deliver educational services;
  • Output measures to provide information on graduations/completions; and
  • Outcomes measures to demonstrate value added to students.

The elements of the "Report Card" would include the following items: Input measures:

  • Mission statement
  • Student body demographics
  • Accreditation - both institutional and programmatic
  • Faculty/student ratios
  • Qualifications of faculty - credentials and work experience
  • Per student instructional expense
  • Student services
  • Web site and contact name for obtaining the required disclosures required under part D of Section 668. (Student Right to Know, Campus Crime report, etc.)

Output measures:

  • Graduation rates
  • Retention rates - optional
  • Transfer rates - optional, depending on mission of the institution

Outcomes measures:

  • Placement/licensure/certification rates, if available (with methodology)
  • Student/alumni satisfaction surveys or measures
  • Employer satisfaction

In order to provide the best possible consumer information, CCA proposes a better method for calculation of graduation rates than the methodology that is currently being used for Student Right to Know reporting. The methodology follows:

Determination of cohort

  • Use all full-time starters in an award year, defined as July 1 through June 30.
  • Institutions will be given the option of reporting on less-than-full-time students. If these students are reported, it will be done as a separate rate.
  • Report all students starting in the prescribed time, not just first-time students, to take into account returning and transferred-in students.

Reporting location

  • Give schools the option to report on the institution as a whole or to break out each campus or additional location.
  • Require institutional reporting, but allow schools the option of breaking down reporting by program.

Reporting method

  • Provide information for each cohort (for as many years as necessary to get to the 150% point in time for the program) comprised of the number of students who started, the number in satisfactory academic progress (SAP), and the number completed.
  • Wash out students who leave within 15 days in a program of one year or less, and 30 days in a program longer than one year.
  • Also wash out students who died, became totally and permanently disabled, were incarcerated, entered the military, went on an official church mission, or entered a national service program such as the Peace Corps.
  • Allow reporting of transfer-out rate, based on institutional mission.
  • For less-than-full-time students, use a separate year-by-year cohort and a separate chart.

Following are examples of what the graduation/persistence charts may look like:

Example - Report for 2007-08 Award Year
Two Year Program
Full-Time Students

    # Completed as of June 30, 2008 # in SAP as of June 30, 2008
# Starters in 2004-05 year 200 145 0
# Starters in 2005-06 year 210 140 15
# Starters in 2006-07 year 220 150 40
# Starters in 2007-08 year 230 0 180

Part-Time Students

    # Completed as of June 30, 2008 # in SAP as of June 30, 2008
# Starters in 2004-05 year 150 80 45
# Starters in 2005-06 year 160 15 110
# Starters in 2006-07 year 170 0 140
# Starters in 2007-08 year 175 0 145


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Last Modified: 02/05/2009