Usefulness of the Texas award for performance excellence in education criteria for a comprehensive program review in student affairs: a case study of two departments in a division of student affairs at a research extensive university
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The culminating recommendations of the United States Secretary of Education, Margaret SpellingsÃ¢ÂÂ 2006 Commission on the Future of Higher Education report demand greater access, affordability, quality and accountability in higher education. Student affairs, as well as their academic counterparts, must show that they function effectively and contribute to student learning and development. A promising program review process for student affairs to fulfill this expectation is found in the Education Criteria of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and its state-level equivalent, the Texas Award for Performance Excellence in Education Criteria. The purpose of this study was to determine the usefulness of the Texas Award for Performance Excellence Education Criteria, Progress Level, as the basis for a comprehensive program review in two diverse student affairs departments. Additionally, the study was to determine the potential usefulness of the Criteria as a management strategy for senior leadership in each department to focus on assessment, planning, improvement and change. The descriptive case study was conducted using naturalistic inquiry methodology with two student affairs departments. The researcher spent nine months in the field as a participant observer. Methodology included observations of training and team leader meetings; interviews with participants, department directors, and the Office of the Vice President; document review of both self-study reports; and the researcherÃ¢ÂÂs reflexive journal. Student affairs departments are particularly well-suited for the quality concept of serving customers and, in this case, students as their primary customer. The researcher concluded that the Texas Award for Performance Excellence in Education Criteria serve as a useful basis for a comprehensive program review and as a management strategy for senior leadership under the following conditions: The department must be a mature and functional unit. Student affairs staff need a foundation in quality principles, in general, and the core values, Criteria and language of the Texas Award for Performance Excellence in Education before embarking on the self-study process. The Measurement, Analysis and Knowledge Category and the Planning Category provided the most introspection and action planning for both departments. The Process Category was the most challenging for both departments.
Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award
Texas Award for Performance Excellence
Osters, Sandra Norton (2003). Usefulness of the Texas award for performance excellence in education criteria for a comprehensive program review in student affairs: a case study of two departments in a division of student affairs at a research extensive university. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from