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November 25, 2003

IBHE TO REVIEW HIGHER ED PERFORMANCE

SPRINGFIELD - The face of Illinois higher education is becoming more diverse, concerns grow about the readiness of high school graduates for college, an affordability gap is widening for low-income students. These are among the conclusions of the first-ever Performance Indicators Annual Report, a yardstick for measuring how well the state and its higher education institutions are doing in meeting important statewide goals.

The Illinois Board of Higher Education will review the performance indicator report, and a companion Statewide Results Report, at its meeting December 9, 2003, at Robert Morris College in Chicago.

The Board adopted the performance indicators in February 2003 as a method for measuring progress in meeting the goals of its strategic plan, The Illinois Commitment. The Statewide Results Report, an accountability mechanism built into the strategic plan, is a catalog of successes and shortcomings in meeting The Illinois Commitment's six goals: helping build a strong economy, teaming with K-12 to improve performance at all levels of education, protecting affordability of a college degree, broadening access and diversity, fostering quality academic programs, and promoting productivity and accountability.

The Performance Indicator report offers a variety of statewide and campus-level measures to evaluate progress and identify needs.
For example, the report notes that Illinois' rate of college participation and percentage of the population with at least a bachelor's degree are higher than the national average. But it also notes that Hispanic students - the fastest growing demographic group in the state - are among the lowest achievers in meeting or exceeding the Illinois Learning Standards, particularly at the secondary level.

The report points out that tuition and fees have outpaced other economic measures over the past decade, but also shows that state support for higher education has fallen off in the past two years while funding of pensions and group health insurance has taken an increasing share of new dollars appropriated to colleges and universities.

The Performance Indicator report examines a variety of information, including:

  • Employer perceptions of how well colleges and universities have prepared graduates for the workplace.
  • The number of students from public universities completing requirements for teacher certification.
  • Average tuition and fees as a percentage of Illinois per capita disposable income; the proportion of students receiving financial aid, and the share of income required to meet a student's out-of-pocket expenses.
  • College completions by race/ethnicity and gender for all sectors of higher education.
  • Pass rates for licensing exams for graduates of law, medical, dental, and nursing programs.
  • Credit hour costs by institution.
  • Graduation rates of students within 150 percent of the catalog time for their degree programs.

In other business, the Board will act on $5.3 million in grants for improving teacher quality under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. All grants involve partnerships between a public or private university, a school of arts and sciences, and a high-need Illinois public school district.
The Board also will consider allocation of $100,000 in Graduation Incentive Program grants. Western Illinois University and Eastern Illinois University have programs aimed at assisting students to finish baccalaureate programs in four years.

Contact

Don Sevener

Sevener@ibhe.org


217.557.7334

217.836.7395

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