Ball State Can Earn More Money From State for 'High-Impact' STEM Degrees

Tim Goral's picture
Monday, March 12, 2012

While Ball State University is not known as a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) school, it does produce several hundred STEM graduates a year.

That's important because the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE) is including "high-impact degrees in STEM-related fields that are aligned to state economic development needs" in its new performance-based funding policy for higher education.

About 5 percent (or $61 million) of the $1.2 billion Indiana's public colleges and universities are scheduled to receive annually over the state's current two-year budget cycle will be allocated through performance funding.

"BSU actually offers a number of degrees that would qualify for the high-impact degree metric," Jason Bearce, ICHE's associate commissioner for strategic communications and initiatives, told The Star Press.

Those degrees include bachelor's and/or master's degrees in architecture, computer science, industrial technology, graphic arts management, biology, physiology, math, statistics, chemistry, earth science, physics, social psychology and actuarial studies, as well as doctoral degrees in environmental science and human bioenergetics (exercise physiology focusing on biochemical and physiological problems).

"It's important to remember that the formula calculates each individual institution's improvement from its own starting point, not relative to the improvement made by other institutions," Bearce said.

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