MDC Makes Strides Toward Maximum Efficiency
Despite significant and repeated cuts in state funding, Miami Dade College constantly finds ways to maximize the resources and support services available to its vast student body. Indeed, institutional data show that the largest – and now principally locally funded – institution of higher education in the United States is fulfilling its mission of changing lives through the opportunity of education, and doing so with great efficiency.
Since 2007-08, MDC has seen state funding for operations decrease by 14 percent. In the same time period, while experiencing 15 percent growth in Full Time Equivalent (FTE) students, state funding per FTE has dropped 27.2 percent. Fighting these huge financial challenges, MDC continues responding to community needs by effectively cutting costs and streamlining various facets of its operations.
One area in which the College demonstrates maximum efficiency is ensuring that the vast majority of salary expenditures support direct services to students.
With a primary goal of enabling success, MDC makes sure everyone studying at the College gets the most out of their experience by allocating 70 percent of salary expenditures toward services that directly impact students. More money goes to the classrooms, computer labs, learning resources, libraries, student advisement and tutoring to make a real difference in student success. With no additions to the College’s full-time staff, Pell and other financial aid awards to Miami Dade College students have nearly tripled in the past four years.
Other areas in which the College stands out in efficiency due to targeted efforts and economies of scale include space utilization and instructional expenditures.
With 17 percent of the Florida College System’s Full Time Equivalent (FTE) students, MDC has received only 11.9 percent of the system’s Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) funding in the past decade. What’s more, in the current fiscal year, Miami Dade College is receiving zero PECO dollars, which are intended to pay for new construction, as well as renovation, remodeling and maintenance of existing facilities.
In response to the challenge posed by the loss of these funds, Miami Dade College is meeting the needs of its students by maximizing the use of its instructional spaces. MDC’s classroom space utilization rate is 186 percent, versus the Florida College System’s overall average of 127 percent. This means that classes are full even when scheduled outside the “normal” day, including early morning, evening and weekend courses.
Through these and other measures, MDC has been able to reduce instructional expenses per credit hour by 11 percent since 2008.
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