The objective of the Context for Success project was to ask scholars of higher education to weigh in on the issues – both theoretical and practical – that need to be considered in designing “input-adjusted metrics” for judging the effectiveness of postsecondary institutions. With the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the consulting firm HCM Strategists invited a number of scholars from around the country to write papers that would discuss the methodological issues in accounting for differences in student populations when evaluating institutional performance. In some cases, these authors were also asked to demonstrate the effects of such adjustments using actual data.

Synopsis Paper

Charles T. Clotfelter

“Can ‘Value-Added’ Methods Improve the Measurement of College Performance? Empirical Analyses and Policy Implications”

Robert Kelchen and Douglas Harris

“College Participation, Persistence, Graduation, and Labor Market Outcomes: An Input-Adjusted Framework for Assessing the Effectiveness of Tennessee’s Higher Education Institutions”

David Wright, Grant Thrall, Celeste K. Carruthers, Matthew N. Murray, and William F. Fox

“Using CIRP Student-Level Data to Study Input-Adjusted Degree Attainment”

John Pryor and Sylvia Hurtado

“Developing Input-Adjusted Metrics of Community College Performance”

Thomas Bailey

“Measuring Value-Added in Higher Education”

Jesse Cunha and Trey Miller

“Using Student Learning as a Measure of Quality in Higher Education”

Stephen Porter

“Classifying Community Colleges Based on Students’ Patterns of Use”

Peter Bahr

Literature Review
“Input-Adjusted Graduation Rates and College Accountability: What Is Known from Twenty
Years of Research?”

Thomas Bailey and Di Xu
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