MARIETTA - While working toward student success is the right thing to do, it may also soon be a major factor in how higher education in Ohio is funded, Washington State Community College President Bradley Ebersole told the school's board of trustees Monday.
"I'm going to embrace it," he said.
Currently, student success points - including the completion of 15 and 30 credit hours and degrees - account for 10 percent of colleges' and universities' funding, with the rest based on enrollment.
But criteria like certificate completion and job placement are expected to be added and the share of student success in funding could rise to 30 to 50 percent under a proposal expected to be delivered to Gov. John Kasich by the end of November.
During Washington State's regular board of trustees meeting, Ebersole outlined the student success strategies the administration has been working on since January. That predated Kasich's charge to a committee headed by The Ohio State University President Gordon Gee to adjust the formula to focus more on measurements of how well institutions have served their students.
"We want the student to come and complete their degree and get that job, but we're going to be funded on that as well," Ebersole said.
Job placement is one of the factors that could be considered in the new state formula, as well as completion of certificates, he said.
Ebersole acknowledged one concern about the movement toward student success-based funding is that it might lead to community colleges turning people away.
Ebersole said the goal for community colleges is making sure people who want to continue their education and better themselves can do so. But in recent years, more focus has shifted to making sure that once those students get into college, they reach their goals.
Toward that end, the administration and staff at Washington State have identified student success indicators that include not only graduation, retention and enrollment, but also individual class or program outcomes, job placement and employer satisfaction surveys.
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