Partnership Rubric: A tool for measuring industry relationships

Many of the grant funded projects we provide evaluation services to have an objective to expand industry/college partnerships. Because of the lack of available instruments to measure changes in these relationships, we developed the Partnership Rubric.  The Partnership Rubric was designed as a tool to quantify the involvement of outside partners in a given project or center by measuring the changes in the number of and level of involvement of those partnerships in targeted areas. While the instrument was useful in quantifying changes, a key limitation of the rubric was that it lacked validation.

Beginning in 2018, The Rucks Group and the National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Working Partners research project (DUE #1501176) teams began collaborating to address this key limitation and ultimately to widen the dissemination of the tool. As context, the Working Partners research project, employs a mixed methods approach to document and examine community college/industry partnership models, gain a better understanding of how these models are used in real world situations, and gather data about impacts of the partnerships. 

We have begun piloting the rubric to gather feedback about the utility and areas for improvement. At the 2018 NSF ATE Principal Investigators’ Conference, we facilitated a roundtable discussion to introduce the rubric and gather this feedback. Based on that feedback, a number of revisions were made and we introduced the revised version at the 2019 High-Impact Technology Exchange Conference (Hi-TEC) in July.  We are highlight encouraged by the response and believe that this tool will meet a critical need for many projects. If you are interested in learning more, download the Partnership Rubric and click on this link to provide us with information on your experience with instrument.