on Education 



A Proposal for 
Fair and Equitable Distribution 
of State 
Education Aid

When School 
Expenses Rise, 
by Allen Larson




CONNECT:  Part 1


(page 4 of 4)

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In Q&A, Senator Murray asked how colleges are addressing workforce shortages in health care, specifically radiology technicians (X-ray, MRI, CT scan, and other technicians) and nurses.

I spoke to the prohibitive cost of program start-up in radiology as well as the shortage of space at CCCC as being the drivers that have led us to discuss sharing program delivery with Massasoit Community College.  I also said that I understood one barrier to be the availability of sufficient clinical placements to accommodate larger classes.  She indicated that she has been contacted by employers who are willing to partner and can provide clinical spaces.

In nursing, I described ongoing partnerships between Cape Cod Community College and Cape Cod Healthcare to expand our capacity in both our day and evening nursing classes, to provide training to move certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) up the “career ladder” to become registered nurses, and to provide “refresher” opportunities to move former nurses back into the field.  Cape Cod Healthcare actually pays employees to attend classes as a cohort in the LPNàRN effort, and the college has attracted both private donor gifts and funding from the Barnstable County Economic Development Council for renovations and new equipment purchases to expand our nursing lab classrooms.  

I also noted the extreme difficulty the colleges and universities are facing in finding sufficient faculty for even current enrollment much less increased enrollment.  I noted that at CCCC, we are attempting to bring a master’s in nursing to our campus as a way to “grow our own” nursing educators.  I mentioned these efforts as emblematic of similar efforts at public colleges and universities across the Commonwealth.  

Finally, Senator Murray asked if I wished to comment on the Board of Higher Education’s performance measurement system and recent accountability report.

I said the colleges in general believe there are useful data there, data we will be able to use for effective institutional development.  However, we are concerned about some of the measures and their appropriateness, citing specifically the use of “first time, full time” student numbers, which then omits from college success data on the large proportion of students who transfer and attend multiple institutions before graduating.  

In addition, I said we believe there are too many performance measures for an effective framework for institutional development.  I noted that the literature on institutional assessment and improvement would suggest that an institution cannot simultaneously focus on improving in two dozen different areas (soon, perhaps, three dozen in BHE’s planned system).  Instead, I suggested the need to prioritize for more focus:  We should identify the six or eight measures for improvement that are most important for Commonwealth priorities or institutional improvement needs and focus on those.  In fact, it’s likely that these may be different for each institution.  After supporting improvement in these areas, the system could then turn its attention to the next level of priorities.     * * *