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TSTC system funding now results based

By Hannah DeClerk hdeclerk@news-journal.com
June 7, 2012 at 11 p.m.


MARSHALL - Texas State Technical College is the first college system in the nation where the instructional funding will be determined solely by results or outcomes, officials said.

The "returned value" funding model is a collaboration between the Texas High Education Coordinating Board, TSTC and the Legislative Budget Board and other relevant agencies, according to Randall Wooten, president of TSTC-Marshall.

The funding formula will be implemented for the 2014-15 biennium for all TSTC campuses - including Marshall's - and will reward job placement and graduate earnings projections instead of time training or contract hours, he said.

"Right now every public education institution in Texas is paid on some sort of contact hour formula, which is basically how long you keep a student in a seat per semester," Wooten said. "But the problem with contact hour funding (is) there is no accountability."

According to Wooten, TSTC officials began corresponding with legislatures about five years ago about having a portion of their pay for performance.

He said performance can be defined by many measures.

"People come here for skills. And we call that placement, placing someone in a job or career," he said. "That is a metric we want to be measured by, and the state Legislature has accepted that."

He said it is important to note the formula works well with TSTC because the institution's overall focus is to place students in jobs as quickly as possible.

The college has a job placement rate at nearly 90 percent, he said.

"(The formula) doesn't work well for a community college because their primary job is to take students and move them from a two-year institution to a four-year institution," he said.

He said the college is still working out the overall details as to how the state will monitor students and their job placement.

"The devil is going to be in the details. There is some way to track a student. Texas Workforce Commission can track it," Wooten said. "We don't know who is going to be responsible, exactly, because it is going to take a lot of state agencies to make it work."

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