July 23, 2015 – FORT MYERS, FLA – Today, the State Board of Education approved the performance funding model for Florida’s 28 public state colleges. Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) ranked 7th overall, earning the institution a “Gold Tier” rank.
Performance funding for public colleges was enacted in 2015 as a way to incentivize improvements across a broad range of outcomes for students, placing greater emphasis on student outcomes.
“In the past few years, in addition to our traditional mission we have focused more on recruiting high-achieving students in our region, the state and across the country,” said Dr. Jeff Allbritten, President, FSW. “We continue to make enhancements in our honors program and study abroad opportunities for our students. We want our students to learn, grow and ultimately graduate.”
The metrics used to measure the colleges are: Job Placement, Completion Rates, Retention Rates, and Completer Entry Level Wages. Each category was assigned a maximum point score, with a perfect total score of 30.5 points. FSW’s total score was 20.83. FSW earned the highest points possible in two of the categories: Job Placement and Completer Entry Level Wages. Similar to the model established for the state university system, the college system performance funding includes money from each college’s base state budget, which is at risk if the college does not perform to established benchmarks.
“We understand the goals of the legislature and their effort to place a greater emphasis on excellence in our education system rather than growth alone,” added Allbritten. “FSW’s score on performance funding validates what people in southwest Florida already know; that FSW in a leader in public higher education. The results highlight our incredible faculty and staff who every day are working with our students to encourage, inspire and lead them to achieve greatness in the classroom today and in our communities tomorrow.”
Earning this top-tier status means FSW will not only earn back the “at risk” portion of the budget, but also earn a proportion of new performance funds. The legislature and governor provided $40 million of general revenue for performance funding. Of this $40 million, $20 million is the result of additional investments in the Florida College System institutions and $20 million of the investment was provided by withholding a proportional amount of revenue from each college’s base funding.
Florida SouthWestern State College is Southwest Florida’s largest and one of the most affordable institutions of higher education. Annually serving more than 22,000 students globally, FSW offers a variety of nationally-ranked, career-focused academic programs with two- and four-year degrees, and professional certifications. Students are also active in clubs and programs catered to their interests. FSW will debut its intercollegiate athletics program in the fall 2015. Visit www.FSW.edu for more information.