Teacher-Scholar: The Journal of the State Comprehensive University


State comprehensive universities often stress the development of teaching quality to improve the outcomes and retention of students, especially for recently matriculated students. These universities invest in teaching quality programs, but often lack a feasible method to examine the longitudinal impacts of these programs. The purpose of this paper is to provide a model for universities to evaluate outcomes related teaching quality programs.

ACUE, a teaching quality program, was implemented across 30 instructors, which equated to 463 course sections. ACUE instructors were matched to non-ACUE instructors using propensity score matching (PSM) and compared on the rate of end-of-the-semester students with DFW (underperformance) standing across course sections. PSM was based on if courses were honors sections, lower level classes, size of enrollment in the sections, and if the section occurred after the completion of the program. DFW rate is a parsimonious metric that predict retention.

The ACUE recipients had an average treatment effect of -.37, or 3.7% fewer students receiving a DFW. That translated to 171 fewer DFW grades.

Implications include that the use of PSM and DFW rates could help universities examine longitudinal outcomes for teaching quality programs. Given the financial and personnel resources needed for program like ACUE, comprehensive regional universities could use similar methods to determine if the investment yields satisfactory returns.