Data Collection and Analysis In South Carolina

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The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education is responsible for collecting the performance funding data and managing student and institutional data for all of the state’s public institutions.

This information is offered as an example of how to collect and manage large amounts of institutional data as well as unit record data for students.


Performance Funding in South Carolina


Act 359 of 1996, commonly referred to as the "Performance Funding Legislation," dramatically changed the responsibilities of the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (CHE) regarding how public institutions of higher education are funded. The legislation required that the CHE allocate state appropriations to South Carolina’s public institutions of higher education based on their performance in nine areas or "critical success factors." The General Assembly identified several performance indicators that could be used, if applicable to a particular type of institution, in assessing institutions’ successes in achieving performance in each of the areas. In all, 37 performance indicators spread across the nine critical success factors are specified. The CHE was assigned the responsibility of developing and implementing a system for funding based on institutional performance and for defining how each of the specified indicators would be measured.

Details of Act 359 of 1996 “Performance Funding” (Effective July 1996)

This act:

Identified mission for higher education and sectors of institutions
Identified nine Critical Success Factors for academic quality and 37 Indicators
Authorized CHE to work in consultation with Council of Presidents, institutions, the business community and others stakeholders to develop and design a performance system based on the factors and indicators
Required CHE to develop a funding formula based on institutional performance on indicators
Directed CHE to develop regulations to reduce, expand, or consolidate institutions including those not meeting performance standards

For more information, visit the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education web site.


Critical Success Factors (SC Code of Laws § 59-103-30)

1. Mission Focus
2. Quality of Faculty
3. Classroom Quality
4. Institutional Cooperation and Collaboration
5. Administrative Efficiency
6. Entrance Requirements
7. Graduates’ Achievements
8. User-Friendliness of the Institution
9. Research Funding

The factors are elaborated on below. (Note: Highlighted indicators to be scored in FY 01-02 in one or more sections)

Critical Success Factor Performance Indicator
1. Mission Focus (a) Expenditure of funds to achieve institutional mission
(b) Curricula offered to achieve mission
(c) Approval of mission statement
(d) Adoption of a strategic plan to support the mission statement
(e) Attainment of goals of the strategic plan
2. Quality of Faculty

(a) Academic and other credentials of professors and instructors
(b) Performance review system for the faculty to include students and peer evaluations
(c) Post-tenure review for tenured faculty
(d) Compensation of faculty
(e) Availability of faculty to students outside the classroom
(f) Community and public service activities of faculty for which no extra compensation is paid

3. Classroom Quality (a) Class sizes and student/teacher ratios
(b) Number of credit hours taught by faculty
(c) Ratio of full-time faculty as compared to other full-time employees
(d) Accreditation of degree-granting programs
(e) Institutional emphasis on quality teacher education and reform
4. Institutional Cooperation and Collaboration (a) Sharing and use of technology, programs, equipment, supplies, and source matter experts within the institution, with other institutions, and with the business community
(b) Cooperation and collaboration with the private industry
5. Administrative Efficiency (a) Percentage of administrative cost as compared to academic costs
(b) Use of best management practices
(c) Elimination of unjustified duplication of and waste in administrative and academic programs
(d) Amount of general overhead costs
6. Entrance Requirements (a) SAT and ACT scores of student body
(b) High school class standing, grade point averages and activities of student body
(c) Postsecondary non-academic achievements of student body
(d) Priority on enrolling in-state residents
7. Graduates’ Achievements (a) Graduation rate
(b) Employment rate for graduates
(c) Employer feedback on graduates who are employed or not employed
(d) Scores of graduates on post-undergraduate professional, graduate, or employment-related examinations and certification tests
(e) Number of graduates who continue their education
(f) Credit hours earned of graduates
8. User-Friendliness of the Institution (a) Transferability of credit to and from the institution
(b) Continuing education programs for graduates and others
(c) Accessibility to the institutions of all citizens of the State
9. Research Funding (a) Financial support for the reform in teacher education
(b) Amount of public and private sector grants


A score of 1, 2, or 3 is assigned to each measure for indicators depending on the institution’s level of actual performance in comparison to approved standards. An additional 0.5 may be earned on select indicators based on improvement.

1 “Does Not Achieve Standard” indicating fell below targeted performance level or in non-compliance

2 “Achieves Standard” indicating within acceptable range of targeted level

3 “Exceeds Standard” indicating exceeded targeted level

+0.5 “With Improvement” indicating improvement expectations over past performance were met or exceeded as defined on select indicators. Institutions scoring 1 or 2 are eligible.



Performance Funding Workbook

This is provided to guide institutions in their submission of data to the CHE.

Process information

History and Background
Outline of current system used
Data Collection and Verification
Performance Improvement Funding

A Guide to Measurement

General Information (e.g., definitions of common terms used)

Guide to format of indicator by indicator display

Definitions and measurement information for all indicators by critical success factor

The Funding Workbook is available online here.

SOURCE: South Carolina Commission on Higher Education


The Commission on Higher Education Management Information System


The Commission on Higher Education Management Information System (CHEMIS) was developed with the assistance of CHE staff, institutional representatives, peer higher education personnel, and outside consultants. The CHEMIS currently provides for the public institutions to report Student, Course, and Facilities data to the Commission electronically.


In response to the changing needs, the Commission designed, developed, and implemented a new computerized data collection system. The CHEMIS was fully implemented beginning the Fall of 1993 for all public institutions in South Carolina. The private institutions have shown interest in the CHEMIS project and are considering participation.

The Student component of the CHEMIS provides for the reporting of enrollment and completions data to the Commission. By reporting these data electronically, the Commission is able to handle more ad hoc data inquiries internally without having to request additional information from individual institutions.

One key element of the Student component of the CHEMIS is the ability to track individual students across multiple institutions within the state. With the inclusion of public and private institutions reporting student data to the CHEMIS, the State of South Carolina increases its ability to track the progress of postsecondary students within the state.

The Course component of the CHEMIS provides for the reporting of credit hour by discipline, local and off-campus teaching locations, and scheduling data to the Commission. The credit hour by discipline data is used in calculating a higher education appropriation formula.

The Facilities component of the CHEMIS provides for the reporting of building and room characteristics data to the Commission. With scheduling data from the Course component, the Facilities component provides utilization of instructional space information. This information assists the Commission in making decisions concerning existing and new facilities.

The Advisory Committee on Information Resources (ACIR), comprised of CHE staff and institutional representatives, assists with the continual development and maintenance of the CHEMIS. The ACIR meets quarterly at the Commission to discuss issues relative to CHEMIS.

Access the South Carolina CHEMIS web site to get information about:

The Technical Documentation
Available Reports
Institutional Data Submission



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Performance Funding

The Commission on Higher Education Management Information System


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