ECC Grades Itself with Study of Effectiveness

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Byline: Tara Malone Daily Herald Staff Writer

Public schools and taxpayer-funded institutions across the country are increasingly mindful of ensuring each publicly-provided dollar is well spent.

Elgin Community College is no exception.

College administrators on Tuesday night released a report measuring ECC's performance in 34 different areas, including everything from a student's ability to transfer into a four-year college to finding a job after graduation.

Though the college based on Elgin's west side has studied such measures in the past, this year ECC broadened its lens to a total of 51 factors, although all data is not yet available. Many of the new additional included financial and technology-related criteria.

The college's increased scrutiny mirrors initiatives taken at two- and four-year colleges and universities across the state.

The Illinois Board of Higher Education last February agreed to study graduation requirements, student demographics, financial aid and other criteria to determine how effectively schools meet student needs and spend money.

"All around, there's a desire to have a more objective evaluation of progress," said Don Sevener, spokesman for the Illinois Board of Higher Education. …