The state of Texas is moving to a funding formula in which a percent of a college’s state funding (initially 10%) will be determined by its performance on a series of “success points.” Colleges will receive one point for each student who:
- Completes a developmental writing/reading course
- Completes a developmental math course
- Passes the first regular math course
- Completes 15 credit hours
- Completes 30 credit hours
Two points are awarded for:
- Completion of a degree or certificate (2 1/2 if in a
- Transfers from a community college to a university with 15 credit hours
2013-14 is the baseline year. We will measure the points to establish a starting point but there is no tie to funding. The next school year (2014-15), we will measure the change. Appropriation decisions based on that change will be made in the spring of 2015. The new funding system will start in the fall of 2015.
In addition, universities will receive funding success points for all students they accept who already have associate’s degrees and for all associate’s degrees they award. (This is based on evidence that students are more likely to get a bachelor’s degree if they get an associate’s degree first.)
Issues not yet Resolved
Why wouldn’t colleges choose to do poorly on this year’s measurement to set a low baseline?
As success rates increase, they will gradually do so at a slower rate and eventually plateau. Does the system stop working?
How do the points earned translate into dollars received? There is not yet a formula for this.
In truth, there is very little positive action classroom teachers can take to affect the numbers in any of these areas. There are ways to improve numbers, however:
· Classroom teachers can reduce the vigor of classes.
· Open admissions community colleges can raise admissions standards (Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has toyed with this idea).
· One area colleges CAN make a difference is in our counseling centers. We can do a major revamping of our counseling processes. Counseling departments should stop setting students up for failure. They can:
o Learn about students’ life responsibilities. Students with kids and two jobs should not be taking four classes.
o Learn about the classes students are being placed into. Be sure a student is ready for the course before enrolling.
o Intervene when there are attendance issues or work is not being turned in
o Require freshman experience programs