For our colleges and universities, I prefer to think of quality in education in terms of the graduation rate. A high graduation rate means a high percent of the entering freshmen succeeded in achieving their goals for their degree. There is much variability in the graduation rate among colleges. Colleges that provide a student success (quality) culture, tutoring and mentoring and a high level of student support, tend to have higher graduation rates. If students are relatively happy in their first year because of the support they are getting, even if the curriculum is difficult for them, they will tend to return to the same college and graduate, especially if financial aid is available if they need it.
Another metric that is becoming very relevant for quality in education is the graduate placement rate (what percent of the graduates were able to find their first post-college job in their field of study?) Obviously after spending 4 or 5 years on a degree, a graduate wants to find a job in the field he/she studied. To achieve a high graduate placement rate, a college usually has a partnership with its career center. One way career centers help is by encouraging students to experience an internship in their field while they are in college; employers look for that kind of experience.
For our school division, our main metric we focus on is graduation rate, coupled with a secondary metric of First Nations-Metis-Indiginous graduation rates.
We recently started creating a metrics map for our school division, encompassing the various business units we have. This is still very much a work in progress, but I'll list it here to give an idea of where we are headed:
We are launching a K-12 Network here, where we will be discussing topics like this. Perhaps you'd be interested in joining our network to take part in our monthly calls and discussions? We will also be posting information to a MyASQ blog and this discussion board.
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