On September 19, the National Governors Association (NGA) released a report that governors can use as a tool to help them evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the colleges and universities in their state. The report, titled Beyond Completion: Enabling Governors to Evaluate the Outcomes of Postsecondary Education, notes that governors are asking four fundamental questions about the effectiveness and efficiency of investments in their states’ postsecondary educational institutions and systems, in order to develop their policy agendas:
- Are our postsecondary students learning the knowledge and skills needed to be successful workers and citizens?
- Do our postsecondary graduates get jobs, and do those jobs pay wages and salaries that can support families?
- How does the number of students who graduate from our postsecondary institutions compare with the number of students who enroll?
- What is the return on our states’ and our students’ investments in postsecondary education in terms of completed degrees and certificates?
The NGA report also provides specific examples of indicators that postsecondary leaders can use to provide answers to the four fundamental questions listed above.
As states face fiscal pressure in areas such as health care and pensions, their ability to invest in postsecondary education will be at risk. As a result, systems of postsecondary education must be prepared to show how productive colleges and universities are with their existing resources and look for ways to improve their effectiveness and efficiency, according to the NGA report.