“Effectiveness is a big challenge with many definitions. Along with leading in¬stitutions, we consider programs, both academic and non-academic, as units of analysis and drivers of cost and service,” explains Blegen. Often the existing man¬agement systems can produce almost no data by programs. “Our goal was to build a solution for prioritization of programs that was sufficiently customizable to allow the necessarily institutional ‘personaliza¬tion’ of the process, but not so flexible as to make implementation more complex,” he adds.
Education Metrics’ flagship product, Prioritization Plus™ assists institutions with the process of prioritizing programs and services. “We have data by student, department, and course. We are now researching ways to obtain meaningful program based measures from the existing data. The tool helps clients operate faster with improved manageability and less maintenance,” remarks Blegen. The product ensures an open and transparent process, engages faculty and large numbers of stakeholders, and manages institutional data and input. “Our clients do not follow any pattern with regard to the size or type of institution that chooses to undertakes a prioritization process.”
Making better use of program data, the company supports institutions’ strategic planning and management efforts so that they can enhance the tools for the ongoing management of programs.
Since inception, Education Metrics has helped institutions in prioritizing programs in order to reallocate resources. For instance, Education Metrics helped a large state university to recognize that they had been under funding the Liberal Arts. In another case, a private university, facing enrollment, tuition and budgeting difficulties, implemented Prioritization Plus software to establish a database for its university-wide prioritization for both academic and nonacademic programs. “Although the process they used was quite complex, involving dozens of questions ten or more criteria, we were able to provide them time-saving and cost-saving solutions to their data demands. We help in improving educational effectiveness by our ready-to-implement support of the prioritization process,” claims Blegen.
We help in improving educational effectiveness by our quick and hands down process
Moving ahead, the company continues to bridge the gap between the increased recognition of program— as the unit of interest for managing both cost and outcomes—and to improve the tools available for measuring and managing programs. Blegen foresees potential for better use of Program Data to support institutions’ strategic planning efforts. Their new product vision includes support tools for the ongoing management of programs. The company is collaborating with institutions and other innovators in their ongoing work.