November 16-17, 2015, Commission Meeting: Chicago, IL

Software Solutions

This brief provides an overview of student success software and summarizes findings from the nascent body of student outcomes research. Three types of software solutions are examined: academic planning systems, task engagement systems, and early alert systems. Several campus practices are then identified that may facilitate software adoption.

The Effectiveness and Efficiency of Postsecondary Institutions in the United States: 2010-2012 Baseline Results

This brief summarizes the results of two working papers that addressed the problem of using raw graduation rates and degrees produced per expenditure as indicators of effectiveness and efficiency. Institutional effectiveness is defined as the difference between an institution’s actual graduation rate and the rate that would be expected given the institution’s structural attributes, the types of students served, financial resources, and the geographical context. Institutional efficiency is estimated as the difference between actual educational expenditures and the expenditures that would be predicted from degree production levels, faculty attributes, and location. Highly effective colleges and universities are identified within each state.

Measuring the Efficiency of Postsecondary Institutions: A Regression-based Approach to Adjusting for Differences in Cost Structures