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Engineering College Ratings And Value Added Assessment

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.540.1 - 9.540.15



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Paper Authors

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Bruce Thompson

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session Number 1793

A Value-Added Per spective on the College Ratings

Br uce R. Thompson Rader School of Business, Milwaukee School of Engineer ing


In recent years, various models have been developed to measure the quality of educational institutions. One group of models, particularly popularized by the U.S. News and World Report’s ratings of colleges and universities, along with specialized programs such as engineering schools, makes use of data such as that on incoming students and resources to rank the institutions. A quite different approach has become increasingly widespread in rating K-12 schools. This approach uses statistical tools to rate schools by their outcomes while controlling for inputs. This paper examines the US News approach through the lens of value-added analysis.


College ratings based on models utilizing data have become increasingly popular in the past twenty years. The most financially successful are those published by U.S. News and World Report in its annual fall college guide.1 These and similar ratings have enjoyed widespread success with parents and students, but have also received considerable criticism.

During the same period, there has been a growth of “value-added” models to evaluate the success of pre-college schools. While these models take various specific forms, they all are motivated by the philosophy that schools should be judged by the value they add rather than the resources used or the quality of the incoming students.

This paper applies a value-added perspective to the college ratings, including the ratings of engineering programs and schools.

A Brief Introduction to Value Added Models

Figure 1 shows a conceptual view of the value-added model. It visualizes a school as a transformation mechanism. Students enter with certain characteristics, including academic skills

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering

Thompson, B. (2004, June), Engineering College Ratings And Value Added Assessment Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13864

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