Relating program effectiveness to the greater good of society may sound a bit lofty and heavy-handed at first, but consider the primary stakeholders involved in the process of program effectiveness: the students, the schools, and the employers.
When a school is operating at optimum effectiveness, the outcomes benefit everybody:
- Satisfied students get a great education through the achievement of relevant learning outcomes
- The school retains and graduates knowledgeable and skilled students
- Future employers are satisfied with their new employees
That is the reason why I truly enjoy working with schools to increase their program effectiveness and outcomes and why I am very passionate about program effectiveness.
When a regulatory body requires that we maintain student satisfaction rates or student retention rates at a minimum of 80%, it is not to be punitive or hackneyed. Rather, it is to protect those students’ consumer rights. (This also prevents students from harboring resentment for the student loan debt they have accrued.) In addition, as Title IV gatekeepers, accrediting bodies are responsible to taxpayers for how their tax dollars are being spent. When these dollars are lent to students who are unable to pay them back after graduation, it’s detrimental to the greater good. Not to mention that with the current state of the skills gap crisis, ensuring employer satisfaction rates are at least 80% is not only a sound practice for a career college that wants to stay in business, it is also necessary if we want to decrease unemployment and underemployment rates.
Bottom-line, tracking all those numbers may be boring, but what those numbers represent is monumental. Keeping my eye on the long-term vision of producing college graduates who can find and keep jobs that allow them to be contributing members of society – while also paying back their student loans – is what keeps me excited and interested in helping programs operate at peak effectiveness!