In light of an ever-changing regulatory, economic, and competitive landscape, schools like Essex County College, which served over 20,000 credit and non-credit students last year at several locations in northeast New Jersey, are continuously evaluating the relevance of their programs – revamping some, scaling back others, and sometimes starting new programs from scratch. These are important decisions with far-reaching effects. And while anecdotes and intuition have their place, the administration at Essex also understands the value of data.
The focus of this article is to highlight what constitutes a true impact study and what does not. Nobody wants to allocate millions of dollars to a project and then find out after the fact that the report they used to justify the investment was deeply flawed.