Home

Measuring Efficiency in the Community College Sector

Clive Belfield

Title:
Measuring Efficiency in the Community College Sector
Author(s):
Belfield, Clive
Date:
Type:
Working papers
Department:
Community College Research Center
Permanent URL:
Series:
CCRC Working Paper
Part Number:
43
Notes:
http://ccrc.tc.columbia.edu/
Publisher:
Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University
Publisher Location:
New York
Abstract:
Community colleges are increasingly being pressed to demonstrate efficiency and improve productivity even as these concepts are not clearly defined and require a significant set of assumptions to determine. This paper sets out a preferred economic definition of efficiency: fiscal and social cost per degree. It then assesses the validity of using IPEDS data to calculate efficiency for the community college system. Using IPEDS, I estimate the fiscal cost per associate degree at $52,900 for comprehensive community colleges and $42,740 for vocational colleges (in 2008 dollars); the social costs per degree are $71,610 and $56,930, respectively. The community college sector has become more efficient over time: fiscal and social costs per degree are lower in real terms in 2008 than they were in 1987. However, two issues are important to the validity of IPEDS: the ability to adjust for differences in student ability and the way that transfer patterns are incorporated. This paper addresses both of them.
Subject(s):
Community college education
Item views:
100
Metadata:
View

In Partnership with the Center for Digital Research and Scholarship at Columbia University Libraries/Information Services.