ERIC Number: ED340423
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Costs vs. Benefits: An Evaluation of the Academic Alert System. Research Report No. 91-02R.
Belcher, Marcia J.
At Miami-Dade Community College, the Academic Alert (AA) system informs students about their progress midway through a semester through the use of individualized letters based on faculty reports on student progress and attendance. In 1991, an evaluation of the AA system was undertaken to determine system costs; ascertain the benefits of the system; and determine the validity of the information provided through the system. Three different surveys were sent to the following groups: 882 full-time faculty members; 172 administrators; and 893 students. Study findings, based on response rates of 60% for faculty, 44% for administrators, and 37% for students, included the following: (1) almost 90% of the costs associated with the AA system were time related and not associated with actual budget dollars; (2) elimination of the AA system would result in a yearly savings of $30,000 in actual dollars, while factoring in personnel and computer time would increase this figure to $284,153 annually; (3) over two-thirds of the faculty and administrators thought that students would know where they stood at mid-term without AA, as did one-third of the students; (4) of the students who reported that their letters said they needed to improve their performance, 80% said they made some changes; (5) 72% of the students said the information they received was accurate, and over 80% thought the information they received was helpful; (6) the largest group of faculty and administrators (40%) thought only students in academic difficulty should receive letters; and (7) new students were more likely to rate AA information helpful than returning students. Appendixes provide a calendar, activity schedule, letters and questionnaires sent to each of the three groups surveyed; and statistics. (JMC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Miami-Dade Community Coll., FL. Office of Institutional Research.