Academic Advising at Bay State

By Bell, Janice E.; Ansari, Shahid L. | Strategic Finance, September 2008 | Go to article overview

Academic Advising at Bay State


Bell, Janice E., Ansari, Shahid L., Strategic Finance


The Student Case Competition is sponsored annually by IMA to provide an opportunity for students to interpret, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and communicate a solution to a management accounting problem.

BAY STATE UNIVERSITY is part of a five-campus public state university system established by the state legislature in 1926. The mission of the state university system is to provide educational opportunity to students who graduate in the top 20% of their public high schools. Tuition is low, with the state paying approximately 80% of the cost of education while students pay the remaining 20%.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The state legislature budgets for the university system and evaluates the performance of each campus by monitoring the percent of the state's graduating seniors who apply, the average GPA and SAT scores of the incoming class, the student retention rate, the average time to graduation, the average units (credit hours) accumulated at graduation, and various capacity ratios (students to full-time faculty, percent utilization of buildings, etc.) Table 1 contains a summary of key statistics for the five campuses in the system for 2007.

Table 1: State University System: 2007 Summary Statistics

                                                           FTF (3)
                % HSS (1)  Average  Average  Retention   Years to
School          Applying     GPA      SAT    Rate (2)   Graduation

Acorn State       57.9       2.4      1410      42%         4.3
Bay State         59.8       2.2      1260      38%           6
Franklin State    61.2       2.6      1530      52%         5.1
Madison County    58.9       2.4      1425      40%         4.5
Welburn State     63.1       2.8      1650      62%         4.3

                 Semesters     Average                      % of Class
                to Graduate   Units at             FTE per    Capacity
School           Transfers   Graduation  FTEs (4)  Faculty  Utilized (5)

Acorn State          5           128      12,500     51.4        67%
Bay State            7           147      28,000     60.3        87%
Franklin State       5           133      18,500     57.9        66%
Madison County       5           132      30,100     58.6        79%
Welburn State        4           128      27,000     52.8        80%

(1.) Graduating high school seniors in the geographical area serviced by
the university.
(2.) Tracks entering students who ultimately graduate, regardless of how
or when they graduate.
(3.) First-time freshmen (FTF) years to graduation.
(4.) Full-time equivalent students [(number of students * units taken)
/15 units].
(5.) Measures the usage of class space during the hours of 8 a.m.
through 10 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. through
5 p.m., Friday.

Concerned with state legislative cutbacks to the state university system and facing increasing accountability for graduation rates and capacity utilization, university administrators charged each university president in the system to improve results on vital performance measures while reducing recurring operating costs by 15%.

BAY STATE UNIVERSITY

Located in a major metropolitan area, Bay State has an enrollment of approximately 39,000 full- and part-time students, correlating to 28,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) students. Bay State's average time to graduation for first-time freshmen has risen from 4.7 years to six years. The student retention rate, measured by the percentage of incoming students who ultimately graduate from Bay State, has fallen from a high of 72% in the late 1970s to 38% in 2007. Additionally, students only have to amass 124 semester credit hours to graduate, yet the average number of credit hours for a graduating senior at Bay State is 147. Table 2 contains information about the school's performance over the past 10 years.

Table 2: Bay State Advising Statistics: 1998-2007

                        1998    1999    2000    2001    2002    2003

% HSS Applying           59. … 

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