Using the Baldrige Award Criteria in College Classrooms


Ensby, Michael; Mahmoodi, Farzad   (1997, ASQC)   Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY

Quality Progress    Vol. 30    No. 4
QICID: 13219    April 1997    pp. 85-91

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Article Abstract

Customer focus and continual improvement are applicable to higher education. Support for such concepts comes from education-adapted Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award criteria. Distractions to using these criteria in colleges and universities include: accreditation standards; the complexities of defining customers of higher education; the tenure system; and the semi-autonomy of academic units. Although many institutions have overcome these issues in attaining administrative quality, there is still resistance in the classroom. The criteria can help professors accept a new paradigm of classroom quality. To do so, senior administrators must lead. Their roles are covered in criteria Category 1, Leadership; Category 3, Strategic and Operational Planning; and Category 7, Student Focus and Student and Stakeholder Satisfaction. Professors are linked directly to three other categories. By aligning course objectives with department goals, by identifying course customers, and by collaborative efforts, professors participate in Educational and Business Process Management, Category 5. Implementing a measurement system links professors with Category 2, Information and Analysis. A three-step approach to measurement is recommended: set up course objectives; evaluate students; and write a lesson plan based on the objectives and measures. Through Category 6, School Performance Results, professors participate in process control and improvement, especially by reducing common-cause variation.


Continuous improvement (CI),Customer focus,Education,Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA)

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