For public, state institutions that are subject to state-wide, performance-based funding models, being held accountable to meet metrics set by the state affects the work of student services professionals. The state’s goals for an institution can misalign with the goals of the institution and the goals that those who work there have for themselves and their students. The purpose of this project is to explore how the effects of being measured changes the work of student services professionals. Through this qualitative study including 15 interviews with student services professionals who engage with students at a four-year public institution that is subject to performance-based funding, the story of those professionals and their experiences under the transition to the funding model, and continuing adjustment, is told. Findings illuminate how student services professionals understand and respond to performance-based metrics, as well as what this experience is like for them as professionals. Major findings are divided into four themes: Pressures Resulting in Distrust, Advising in Ways Counter to Beliefs (Goal Misalignment), “Cooking the Books” (Gaming and Ambiguity), and Overreliance on Quantitative Data.

Degree Date

Spring 2020

Document Type


Degree Name



Education Policy and Leadership


Denisa Gandara

Second Advisor

Michael Harris

Third Advisor

Eddie Tealer

Subject Area


Number of Pages




Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License