Thursday, January 15, 2009JOHNSON CITY— East Tennessee State University has earned the top score among Tennessee’s public universities in a recent statewide evaluation of educational quality.
The Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) awarded ETSU 97.5 points out of a possible 100 in the 2007-2008 Performance Funding Program, which was created to provide financial incentives to universities and community colleges for results on selected measures of achievement and effectiveness. Because of the current shortfall in state funding, ETSU will not receive the full incentives that would otherwise have been available under the program.
“The Performance Funding Program is an important assessment of the educational quality of Tennessee’s public universities and community colleges,” said ETSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Bert C. Bach. “We are very pleased to receive this external recognition of the excellence of ETSU’s undergraduate and graduate programs.”
THEC examined student performance on standardized tests of critical thinking and knowledge in the major field, pass rates on licensure exams, employer satisfaction with recent graduates, results of accreditation and academic program reviews, retention and graduation rates, and programs to assist students transferring to ETSU.
The following accomplishments helped ETSU earn its top score:
Senior students performed well on national tests of critical thinking, assessments
of knowledge of the major field of study, and professional licensure examinations.
All of the university’s 54 accreditable programs are accredited, including programs in art, music and communication; business and technology; education; social work; nursing; allied health professions; communicative disorders; physical therapy; and medicine. ETSU’s Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy and the new College of Public Health have applications for accreditation under way.
ETSU met targets for annual progress toward its strategic goals, one of which supports the college preparation of elementary and high school students by offering a variety of programs and services for teachers and students.
Noteworthy actions to help undergraduate students succeed in completing their degrees include creation of “ETSU 1000,” a course taught by specially selected faculty and staff who help new students gain insights and skills needed to succeed in college and in the workplace.
Evaluators also awarded full Performance Funding points for ETSU’s efforts to use resources wisely by comparing its practices to those of peer institutions across the country. “Controlling expenses and providing cost-effective education are high priorities for us,” Bach observed. “We study what other universities are doing to maintain quality while managing expenses, and we compare well to them. ETSU is pleased to receive this confirmation of our commitment to public accountability.”