Measuring What Matters: GA’s Approach to Measuring Student Outcomes

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General Assembly Measures Student Outcomes

General Assembly was founded on the principle that first and foremost, education is an investment. Students invest their time, money, and passions with us, and we have a duty to help them earn a return on that investment, both in the short and long run.

Students enroll in our immersive courses for a variety of reasons. Most are committed to learning new skills and finding a high paying job in a new field.  Some launch businesses, return to college, or go back to their old jobs with new skills, ready to embark on a new career pathway.

We believe that every student who enrolls in our programs should have total transparency into the outcome for every prior student.

“Measuring What Matters” is about empowering students to make an informed choice based on consistent, reliable data so that they know what to expect, and what’s expected of them. It’s also about helping policymakers and other stakeholders understand the role that programs like ours can play within the higher education landscape.

Over the past year and a half, we’ve embarked on a massive effort to identify gold standard models and methods of reporting and measuring student success. Believe it or not, that meant working with two of the Big-Four accounting firms to understand and apply the very same guidelines that public companies use to report non-financial metrics like social impact and environmental sustainability. What’s come out of that process is a methodology for tracking the outcomes of our immersive students, and a framework for reporting those outcomes.

Today, we are sharing the first components of that framework with the world. We designed this to be an open-sourced framework, and we hope that others will consider this to be a thoughtful starting point and share ideas on how it can be improved.

Our goal is to start a conversation about outcomes, predicated on the use of consistent definitions and the application of a rigorous framework and methodology that will help students make apples-to-apples comparisons across a range of educational programs.

Over time, we hope to use the data to develop more specific and granular measures like return on education that will help students and other stakeholders evaluate the long-term value of General Assembly’s programs and the impact of our community in the world.

See how we measure what matters.

Download the whitepaper