Mission to Metrics 4: Promote Interest in Academics

Academic booster clubs seek to inspire more than high grades.Robot Paparazzi at the red carpet

The booster club I’m profiling in this post is more concerned with promoting interest among their participants than a perfect GPA. Grades aren’t even mentioned in their mission statement. As with the other posts in the Mission to Metrics series, I show how booster club officers can develop appropriate metrics to measure the goals outlined in their mission statements. (See the intro post to metrics, and links to the other posts in the series below.)

First, skim this summary* of the DMS Academic Booster Club bylaws:

Academic Booster Club Mission Statement:

  • Support and encourage school staff and students participating in Academic UIL (University Interscholastic League), Robotics, and Youth & Government.
  • Promote and create a greater interest in academics for the participants in the academic programs, their families, and the community in general.

  • Promote public interest in and parental support of the DMS Academic Booster Club Program and its activities.
  • Raise monies for the enhancement and development of the Academic Booster Club programs for all students.

I found it refreshing that the DMS Academic Booster Club doesn’t say anything about grades in its mission. Its main goal is to promote interest in academic programs. So it needs to communicate accomplishment in those areas. As I noted in part 3 of this series, GPA is easy to record but difficult to squeeze meaning out of. Interest, on the other hand, is more difficult to measure than grades, but the results can be much more telling of immediate accomplishment in extracurricular programming.

One good indicator of interest is club participation. How many students participate in the clubs? How many participated in competitions? You should document projects of individual students. Doing so will communicate interest to donors. If I were the communications chair or secretary for this club, I’d be sure to have a monthly newsletter with profiles of individual students. I’d also track these metrics:

      • Number of students regularly participating in clubs
      • Number of special events/competitions attended
      • Extracurricular projects completed (robots, speeches, etc.)
      • Awards won: though DMS isn’t pushing competition, awards can garner attention from parents and the public.
      • Average class size
      • Library use rates
      • Number of community participants, such as mentors
      • Parent attendance at open houses

The metrics above outline how to measure interest among families. However, if you’re like DMS, you want to stimulate interest in the public as well. You should be bold in attracting media attention. Get a radio or TV reporter to cover events like science fairs. Empower students to write about their experiences in a local newspaper. Make short and catchy videos that you can easily share with the public online. And of course, track these accomplishment and report them to your stakeholders.

      • Number of mentions of booster club activities on local news media
      • Number of published stories or comments by participants
      • Number of articles or profiles produced by the club and available to the public
      • Number of members on your Group Facebook Page
      • Number of “shares” of academic student activities on your Group Facebook Page (similar for pins, tweets, likes, etc.)

For more tips on how to realize your booster club’s mission through smart metrics, check out these posts:

*Each mission statement in this series is edited down for length and clarity, but the message and order of the points are preserved.




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