This post is an update to the announcement of the $1M Talent Dividend Prize. Here were the questions that eligible cities asked, and CEOs for Cities’ responses:
Q: This prize is only for the number of degrees GRANTED, not the number of graduates RETAINED in a city. Is that right?
A: That is correct. While we believe talent retention is critical, it is not a measure for this prize. This is focused solely on talent development.
Q: We know that a city receives one point for each Associates Degree granted and two points for each bachelors’ or graduate degree granted. How are online degrees counted, by the graduates location or the University’s location?
- Example A: A student lives in an eligible city and receives their degree from the University of Phoenix. Does the eligible city get to “count” this degree, even though the degree-granting institution is not in the eligible city?
- Example B (the reverse): A university is located in an eligible city, and offers online degree programs. Does the U get to count all the degrees it confers, regardless of where its online graduates live?
A: The exact methodology for counting online degrees is still in development. Much depends on the institution and how it accounts for the degrees. For instance, University of Phoenix counts all of its degrees as if they were awarded in Phoenix, while other online institutions account for degrees awarded at each of their campuses.
- Example A: If the institution doesn’t report the degrees as awarded in the metro, we will not be able to count the degrees.
- Example B: This is more complicated. Insofar as is possible, we will adjust IPEDS data to correct for on-line degrees conferred on non-residents.
Q: In offering one point per Associates Degree, does the Associates of Applied Science count as an associates degree? And do Ph.Ds count the same as bachelors and graduate degrees, i.e. two points?
A: Yes, all types of Associates degrees will be counted. And yes, bachelors and any advanced degrees, including Ph.Ds, will each count as two points.
Q: So are you essentially measuring graduation rates for those who are already enrolled, rather than focusing efforts on high school students or recruiting more potential graduates. With the exception of 2 year associates degrees, most of these potential graduates are already enrolled. So it seems that, if we go for this, our focus should be on helping those who are already enrolled graduate, right?
A: There are a number of strategies we envision cities will use including increasing retention and completion rates of current students, re-enrolling and completing those with some college, but no degree and accelerated degree programs and on-time completion of two-year degrees.
Q: This prize would seem to favor communities with more universities. Is that accurate?
A: Since the prize is based on the greatest increase in the number of degrees awarded per capita, it doesn’t necessarily favor cities with more post secondary institutions. It all depends on the capacity of the institutions to increase the number of degrees awarded. For instance, if a city’s institutions already have 100% completion rates and are at capacity, then it may be difficult to increase degree output in this short period.
Q: Since you’re measuring the graduation rates based on 2012-2013 IPEDS scores vs 2009-2010 IPEDS scores, how can cities learn their 09-10 IPEDS scores? (Are those publicly available?)
A: CEOs for Cities will publish them as soon as they become available, likely September 2011. Interested cities may obtain 08-09 IPEDS data online at http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/datacenter/. (As a warning, this is not the most user-friendly service.)
Q: Many of the eligible cities are in larger regions. Will ACS data be limited to MSAs, or extend further/differently?
A: The IPEDS and ACS data will be analyzed at the MSA level only. [NOTE TO APPLICANTS: In Northeast Ohio, the steering committee is considering a MOU (Memo of Understanding) to share the prize across the region if one of their cities wins, i.e. their region includes Canton, which is ineligible.]
Q: Exactly how is the MSA defined?
A: We are using the metropolitan statistical areas as defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB). You can find the definitions here (December 2009 Bulletin):http://www.census.gov/population/www/metroareas/metrodef.html.
Q: How many cities have registered so far?
A: (As of Feb. 11) We’ve received full registrations from 3 cities and partial registrations from 13 other cities.
Q: Each city is required to have a liaison, and to complete annual documentation. Do you have any sense of the amount of time it will take to complete the annual documentation to stay in the running for the prize? We’re trying to assess if a separate staff person should be assigned to this task, or how this might fit into a liaison’s work plan.
A: The annual documentation will be a series of questions similar to those at the end of the registration form. It is not meant to be time consuming, but rather to allow cities to highlight the strategies they have implemented over the course of the year. We anticipate it will take a well-informed key liaison approximately 4-6 hours to complete.
Q: We noticed that the mayors of OK City and Sacramento are on the list of advisors. Does this pose any conflict of interest, since their cities are also eligible to compete?
A: The prize is data-driven, so the advisory panel is in no way involved with the selection of the winner. A completely separate panel of judges will be selected in order to review the data and assist if any adjustments are necessary based on online degrees conferred to non-residents.
Q: If a city chooses to compete, what do they have to do (if anything) to participate in the Launch Event in May, e.g. must they be present in a specific location?
A: The launch event isn’t mandatory, but will provide an opportunity for each key liaison to represent his/her city at the national convening. It will be held in Chicago, more details will be released closer to the date.
Q: Throughout the next few years, will CEOs for Cities share/talk about best practices, or offer updates of any kind to competing cities?
A: Yes, we plan to release annual leader boards and host National Talent Dividend Network convenings to discuss strategies, challenges, successes, etc. Key liaisons of all registered cities will be invited to join this learning network.
Q: If a city wins, does it determine how to use the $1M prize to promote “talent development” or are there guidelines on how the money will be used? If you have an example, that might help.
A: Yes, there will be guidelines to how the money is spent, but it will offer a range in promotional options from ad buys to events to partnering with a retailer on a line of t-shirts. The guidelines are not meant to be restrictive, but rather to offer a starting point.
Again, our contact at CEOs for Cities is Bridget Marquis: email@example.com, Bridget invites you to reach out to her directly with further questions.