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:

  1. Enrollment metrics for students of color
  2. Success metrics for students of color
  3. Enrollment metrics for students from low-income backgrounds
  4. Success metrics for students from low-income backgrounds
  5. 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.

Two-Year Institutions

The Wisconsin Technical College System adopted outcomes-based funding in 2013. It is allocated as base funding annually.

The 2013 Wisconsin Act 20 provided a $5 million annual increase in general state aid to technical colleges beginning in fiscal year 2014-15.

Each college must choose seven of the following 10 metrics:

  • Job placement rates;
  • Degrees and certificates awarded in high-demand fields;
  • Programs or courses with industry-validated curriculum;
  • The transition of adult basic education students to skills training;
  • The success rate of adults in basic education courses;
  • Participation in dual enrollment programs;
  • Workforce training provided to businesses and individuals;
  • Participation in collaboration or efficiency initiatives;
  • Training provided to special populations or demographic groups unique to the district; and
    • 50% based on each college’s proportionate share of the number of students reported in the following special populations: (a) students of color; (b) Pell Grant recipients; (c) veterans; (d) incarcerated students; (e) dislocated workers; and (f) persons with disabilities.
    • 50% based on each college’s concentration of these special population students, relative to their total student population
  • Number of credits awarded to students for relevant education experience or training, including skills and training received during military service

Wisconsin Tech’s OBF policy arguably includes the most metrics for special populations, including students of color, students from low-income backgrounds, veterans, incarcerated students, dislocated workers, and persons with disabilities. The policy does not have a campus climate metric.

The policy is overseen by the Wisconsin Technical College System Board. To learn more, visit https://www.wtcsystem.edu/wtcsexternal/cmspages/getdocumentfile.aspx?nodeguid=df0f3fd8-2b71-45dd-a3cb-8070b79e5fe5.

Two-Year Institutions

Enrollment of Students of Color Optional
Success of Students of Color None
Enrollment of Students from Low-Income Backgrounds Optional
Success of Students from Low-Income Backgrounds None
Measure Related to Campus Climate None

Four-Year Institutions

Wisconsin adopted outcomes-based funding in 2017. It is allocated as base funding annually.

The 2017-2019 biennial budget included $26.25 million in new state funding specifically targeted for outcomes-based funding to be distributed to each institution during the 2018-2019 fiscal year. The allocations will be based upon achieving metrics established for all of the campuses in alignment with statutory guidelines. Under the newly created state law (Wis. Stats. §36.112), the Wisconsin Legislature established the following goals for the University of Wisconsin System:

  • Growing and ensuring student access;
  • Improving and excelling at student progress and completion;
  • Expanding contributions to the workforce; and
  • Enhancing operational efficiency and effectiveness.

For each goal, the statute requires the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System to identify at least four metrics to measure an institution’s progress toward meeting the goal.

UW institutions will receive a proportionate share of new funding based upon the outcomes they achieve for each of the four statutory goals. Four metrics have been identified under each statutory goal, for a total of 16 metrics. Each UW institution will report on every metric and progress toward meeting the goals. The metrics include:

  • Grow and Ensure Student Access
    • Wisconsin high school graduates enrolled as degree-seeking undergraduates
    • Pell-eligible students enrolled as undergraduate students
    • Underrepresented students enrolled as undergraduate students, including Black, Latino, American Indian and Southeast Asian students
    • Transfer students enrolled as undergraduates
  • Enhance Operational Efficiency and Effectiveness
    • Core Expense Ratio
    • Average number of credit hours required for an undergraduate degree
    • Average student debt on baccalaureate graduation
    • Degrees awarded per 100 FTE students
  • Improve and Excel at Student Progress and Completion
    • Undergraduates who have achieved 30 credit hours
    • Undergraduates who have achieved 90 credit hours
    • Undergraduate degrees awarded
    • Postbaccalaureate degrees awarded
  • Expand Contributions to the Workforce
    • Graduates in STEM disciplines
    • Graduates in health-related disciplines
    • Pell-eligible graduates
    • Research and public service expenditures

The policy does not have a metric for measuring campus climate.

A baseline set of outcomes for each UW institution will be established using on a three-year average for each metric based upon data from the three previous years. Similarly, a current year average will be established using the same factors that established the baseline data. The current year and baseline data will be totaled and compared to determine whether the institution improved, maintained or declined in performance. Funds will be distributed based on the increase or decrease in each institution’s proportion of the total outcomes for the system.

The policy is overseen by the UW System Board of Regents. To learn more, visit https://www.wisconsin.edu/news/archive/regents-approve-outcomes-based-metrics-faculty-workload-policies/.

Four-Year Institutions

Enrollment of Students of Color Mandatory
Success of Students of Color None
Enrollment of Students From Low-Income Backgrounds Mandatory
Success of Students From Low-Income Backgrounds Mandatory
Measure Related to Campus Climate None

Outcomes-Based Funding Map Placeholder
Outcomes-Based Funding Map