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Journal of Research in Technical Careers

Abstract

This case study investigated the influence of quality systems on meeting performance funding criteria in Wisconsin Technical College System institutions. Using qualitative text-analysis methodology, the case study identified the common processes, systems, values, and culture of three Wisconsin Forward Award-recognized technical colleges, looking for ways these characteristics were used for attaining performance-based funding goals. Sources analyzed included the colleges’ Wisconsin Forward Award application documents and evaluator feedback reports, and the transcripts of six interviews conducted with professionals with expertise in organizational effectiveness and performance funding at these institutions. Findings indicated that the entities shared quality, benchmarking, feedback, strategic planning, and budgeting processes and systems, as well as student-focused values and culture. The case study conclusions suggested that these commonalities were not aligned with performance-based funding goals. Interviewees felt that it was too early to draw conclusions on the effectiveness of these goals. The researcher recommends consideration of the processes, systems, values, and culture shared by these colleges by other technical colleges, and improved alignment of organizational practices with performance-based funding expectations. Suggestions also include improving the convergence of various state accountability and quality improvement initiatives to reduce leading institutions in divergent directions.

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