ERIC Number: ED410877
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-May
Selecting Peer Institutions. A Hybrid Approach. AIR 1997 Annual Forum Paper.
Zhao, Jisehn; Dean, Donald C.
This paper describes the methodology used by The College of St. Rose (New York) to identify peer institutions (similar small private liberal arts colleges) as part of a comparative compensation survey. To identify peer institutions, researchers used a hybrid approach involving both objective identification of institutions and administrator knowledge of similar institutions. Cluster analysis using 33 institutional descriptors and a 16-cluster solution was applied to schools listed in major compendia about higher education for an objective listing. Descriptors covered the categories of membership, size, quality, price, and finance. The resulting list was submitted to the College administration to ensure the list reflected the mission and objectives of the College. Limited resources, practical constraints and political realities of the institution were the motivating factors influencing this approach. The study resulted in the identification of 21 peer institutions in New York State. Institutional researchers are urged to carefully select institutional descriptors in such an effort, recognize the limited statistical techniques available for data analysis, and be sensitive to the political agendas of all parties involved. (Contains 15 references.) (DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A