Benchmarking: An Essential Tool for Assessment, Improvement, and Accountability: New Directions for Community Colleges, Number 134
July 2006, Jossey-Bass
While giving an overview of benchmarking and illustrating its growth within community college assessment, this volume provides four examples of national benchmarking initiatives designed specifically for two-year institutions; describes how the data from those initiatives are being used for assessment, institutional improvement, planning, management, and decision making; and discusses benchmarking's costs, benefits, and limitations.
This is the 134th volume of New Directions for Community Colleges, a quarterly journal published by Jossey-Bass.
1. Benchmarking Instructional Costs and Productivity: The Kansas Study (K. Patricia Sumner, Regina G. Brewer)
This chapter discusses the development and implementation of the Kansas Study of Community College Instructional Costs and Productivity, which collects and reports national data on community college instructional costs and faculty workload. The data can be used for both intra- and inter-institutional comparisons about how much community college faculty teach and the cost of that instruction at the discipline level.
2. Uses of Kansas Study Data at State System and Institutional Levels (George E. Malo, Ellen J. Weed)
This chapter describes how data from the Kansas Study of Community College Instructional Costs and Productivity can be used in state system, individual institution, and in regional accreditation contexts.
3. Assessing Expectations and Perceptions of the Campus Experience: The Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory (Julie L. Bryant)
This chapter describes the content and implementation of the Noel- Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory and explains its importance and utility for community colleges.
4. Identifying What Matters to Students: Improving Satisfaction and Defining Priorities at Santa Fe Community College (Anne M. Kress)
This chapter describes how Santa Fe Community College has used the Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory to guide iterative development of institutional improvements associated with student satisfaction.
5. Benchmarking Effective Educational Practice (Kay M. McClenney)
Using results from the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE), community colleges can benchmark their performance with peer institutions on key indicators related to teaching, learning, and retention. This chapter offers an overview of the benchmarks and a focus on the challenges ahead.
6. Using CCSSE in Planning for Quality Enhancement (Scott E. Balog, Sally P. Search)
This chapter describes how Tallahassee Community College used CCSSE data as part of its overall student retention program, consisting of faculty workshops, analysis of state accountability data, and conscious incorporation of best practices. The resulting Quality Enhancement Plan meets accreditation requirements and strengthens the college’s strategic plan.
7. The National Community College Benchmark Project (Ralph Juhnke)
The National Community College Benchmark Project (NCCBP) provides community colleges with a system to report data on key learning outcomes and indicators of institutional effectiveness and to compare their data with national norms and data from selected peer institutions. This chapter describes the development, current features, and anticipated enhancements of the NCCBP.
8. Using Benchmark and Assessment Data to Facilitate Institutional Change (Terri M. Manning, Brad Bostian)
This chapter describes how Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) has used data from the National Community College Benchmark Project. Analysis of project benchmark data led to a review of high course-withdrawal rates and CPCC withdrawal policies, as well as their effects on student program completion and transfer success. As a result, the college worked to lower withdrawal rates through the use of creative classroom strategies.
9. Limitations of Community College Benchmarking and Benchmarks (Trudy H. Bers)
This chapter distinguishes between benchmarks and benchmarking, describes a number of data and cultural limitations to benchmarking projects, and suggests that external demands for accountability are the dominant reason for growing interest in benchmarking among community colleges.
10. Key Resources on Benchmarking in Community Colleges (Caroline Q. Sheldon, Nathan R. Durdella)
This chapter reviews resources from scholars, practitioners, and policymakers on benchmarking in community colleges.