In this report, we examined five kinds of equity-focused metrics in state OBF policies to determine the extent to which states prioritize the enrollment and success of students of color and students from low-income backgrounds:
- Enrollment metrics for students of color
- Success metrics for students of color
- Enrollment metrics for students from low-income backgrounds
- Success metrics for students from low-income backgrounds
- Metrics related to campus racial climate
While the inclusion of these metrics in policies is essential, how they are deployed is equally as important. Therefore, we also considered whether the metrics were mandatory, optional, or weighted. Weighted metrics are the most ideal. These are mandatory and are given additional value, so strong institutional performance on a weighted metric would garner greater advantage or funding.
The Alabama legislature appointed the Community College Advisory Council on Outcomes-Based Funding to create the state’s two-year OBF policy in 2017. The state allocated outcomes-based funding for two-year institutions in the following year (2018-2019).
Alabama’s OBF policy is a “relative improvement model,” which means that even small schools can effectively compete to win increases in funding each year, since those increases are not dependent on the magnitude of total weighted outcomes of the college, but rather on the percentage by which a college improves those outcomes in comparison to other colleges.
The metrics include:
- Completion – Number of degrees and long certificates conferred
- Progression – Number of students reaching benchmarks of 12, 24, and 36 credit hours
- Workforce – Premium weighting of Career & Technical Education (CTE) awards
- Special Populations – Premium weighting of awards earned by minority, adult, and Pell Grant students (at-risk populations)
- Transfer Success – Provisional Based on Data Availability Through National Student Clearinghouse (Not Implemented Yet)
The metrics account for these portions:
|12 Credit-Hour Benchmark||5%|
|24 Credit-Hour Benchmark||10%|
|36 Credit-Hour Benchmark||15%|
The policy applies a weight of 25% to any awards earned by adult students (25 years or older), minority (non-White) students, and students who are Pell eligible. The 25% weight is awarded for each of the three factors a student meets, up to a maximum of 75%. Progression metrics are not disaggregated by major or special population and are not subject to premium weighting like the completion metrics.
The policy is overseen by the Alabama Community College System. To learn more, visit https://ache.edu/CommunityCollegeStudentSuccess.aspx
|Enrollment of Students of Color||None|
|Success of Students of Color||Weight|
|Enrollment of Students from Low-Income Backgrounds||None|
|Success of Students from Low-Income Backgrounds||Weight|
|Measure Related to Campus Climate||None|
Outcomes-Based Funding Map