Date of Award

Summer 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Foundations & Leadership


Community College Leadership

Committee Director

Mitchell R. Williams

Committee Member

Shana L. Pribesh

Committee Member

David F. Ayers


Historically, state funding of higher education institutions has been allocated through enrollment, but there has been a recent trend towards a different model, performance funding. Performance funding is a model based on the attainment of designated metrics with the intent on improving student outcomes. The metrics used for these programs have often not aligned with the mission and characteristics of different institutions, especially that of community colleges. Although, several past performance funding models failed to improve student outcomes, much has been learned regarding program improvement. Texas implemented a performance funding model in 2013 which included a focus on community colleges and metrics specifically related to their institutional mission.

Using a difference-in-differences approach, the impact Texas’ performance funding model had on associate degree completion, certificate completion, and transfer-out rates was evaluated. The study utilized IPEDS data from 2010 to 2017 and compared the pre- to post- differences in Texas to California. The results of the study found performance funding had no statistically significant impact on associate degree completion, certificate completion, or transfer-out rates, even after controlling for race/ethnicity, gender, age, enrollment, degree of urbanization, tuition and fees, and financial aid.

The study recommends further research on programs with 50% or more of appropriations based on performance. If this research confirms that performance funding does not improve student outcomes, state legislatures need to consider the evidence from the results of this study and previous research and no longer pursue performance funding models.


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